Robert Siegel is a keen observer of the natural world. For both his poetry and his fiction he is commonly inspired by animals; consider for example his award-winning trilogy of novels, Whalesong. In his recent new and selected poems, A Pentecost of Finches, you’ll find poems that focus on such creatures as the Giraffe, Tiger, Snakes, Wolves, Turtle, and the Muskie: “Above him motors unzip the sky all day / and zip it up again”. The title for this collection comes from this beautiful haiku:
-------------Yellow flames flutter
----------------about the feeder:
-------------a Pentecost of finches.
In this book, Siegel has also written a series of Scripture-inspired poems. In each of these poems he focuses on an individual from a Bible story, and builds the poem reflectively as he does elsewhere with animals. As we come into Advent I suggest you use the following poem for your reflections.
She didn't notice at first the air had changed.
She didn't, because she had no expectation
except the moment and what she was doing, absorbed
in it without the slightest reservation.
Things grew brighter, more distinct, themselves,
in a way beyond explaining. This was her home,
yet somehow things grew more homelike. Jars on the
gleamed sharply: tomatoes, peaches, even the crumbs
on the table grew heavy with meaning and a sure repose
as if they were forever. When at last she saw
from the corner of her eye that gold fringe of his robe
she felt no fear, only a glad awe,
the Word already deep inside her as she replied
yes to that she'd chosen all her life.
Robert Siegel and his wife live on the coast of Maine. The above poems were posted with the poet’s permission (© 2005 by Robert Siegel).
Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: www.dsmartin.ca