Nuthatch Magic

This is Day 3 of Effy’s blog along (for me as I started late!) and I was going to write about something else but then I read Effy’s post today and her poem about Mary Oliver made me remember the journal page I did last year after some crap stuff happened. I’m not going to write about what happened but I was upset and unsettled at the time. I just wanted to share the page because although it’s not my best piece of artwork ever, I really worked through some stuff on this little page and it felt special. I had decided to draw a nuthatch after seeing one while ‘the stuff’ was going on. Then I found Mary Oliver’s ‘Winter and the Nuthatch’ poem when I went looking for a quote to put on the page and my mind was blown because it seemed so relevant to what was happening so I added that to my background. This is where I often find myself with my artwork. At some sort of meeting point of my inner world, the outer world and the symbols from both where I start to make sense of things. It’s why it crosses over into magic and witchcraft for me.


Winter and the Nuthatch
Once or twice and maybe again, who knows,
the timid nuthatch will come to me
if I stand still, with something good to eat in my hand.
The first time he did it
he landed smack on his belly, as though
the legs wouldn’t cooperate. The next time
he was bolder. Then he became absolutely
wild about those walnuts.

But there was a morning I came late and, guess what,
the nuthatch was flying into a stranger’s hand.
To speak plainly, I felt betrayed.
I wanted to say: Mister,
that nuthatch and I have a relationship.
It took hours of standing in the snow
before he would drop from the tree and trust my fingers.
But I didn’t say anything.
Nobody owns the sky or the trees.
Nobody owns the hearts of birds.
Still, being human and partial therefore to my own successes—
though not resentful of others fashioning theirs—
I’ll come tomorrow, I believe, quite early.


5 thoughts on “Nuthatch Magic”

  1. “Nobody owns the hearts of birds”. Now there’s a thing to remember. I love your painting and how you wove the poem into the background. Yep. Magic. Thank you for sharing. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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