When asked how my residency at the Lake, the final home of legendary artist Morris Graves, my stock response has been “stunning and miraculous.” I was awarded a residency almost a year ago by the Morris Graves Foundation and had as goals to finish my manuscripts Pig War & Other Songs of Cascadia as well as the 99 neo-barroco haibun project Haibun de la Serna. I finished both, although Pig War is just the latest chapter of a serial poem which re-enacts Cascadia history and began with A Time Before Slaughter.
That an eagle cried twice seconds after I finished the last of 99 haibun was only one of the remarkable occasions during my nine day residency. One of the other remarkable occasions was getting attuned to the rhythm of redwing blackbirds. My 5a wakeup routine gave me a chance to journal my dreams (with prodigious recall) and my experiences from the previous day and be doing yoga, or starting breakfast by the time they finished their morning choir practice. I even recorded their singing one day, at least part of it. So here is one of those aforementioned haibun, #98. Why Redwings Sing. (Audio here.)