Carol Bass

a continuous flow of feelings and color, inspired by the beauty around us

post 225: wind, water, ripples, energy, life force


a day for chips and pickles

around the middle group of grasses
a smooth band where no breeze makes ripples
a satin shimmering border
disappearing in seconds

mergansers bobble, venture into the quiet band, dive
pop up in other ruffled water around the marsh

I imagine a small group from ISIS
joining us, having thrown their machetes in the back of some truck

lots of clattering
we talk about beavers and kingfishers,  cottonmouths hanging from branches
we hike Spenser Mt. with Patrick McMillan
lie down in wildflowers
so their souls began to rumble

on top of Spenser
still lying in wildflowers we discuss  black holes
and merganser mating practices, and Alain de Botton’s books

we play touch football
drink sparkly water
dehydration must always be a problem for them
actually causing their brains to act strangely
could it be so simple? merely dehydration

we hug and plan another trip down the Edisto

post 224: mist, marsh, white birds

new bug approaching

through early morning mist

before rains, predicted for days
way out in the marsh
five glowing ibises
probe the mud for fiddlers

they bring to mind
white sheets and pillowcases
forced off the clothes line
by gusts of wind

dipping down into dead grass
gliding along
through the fog

I smell the leftover sun in the white sheets
and imagine the Pakistani weavers, the ones that smile easily
joking, speaking about westerners

I wish we could meet
and discuss the ibises
how their beaks, like tools, explore the mud
like the weavers’ instruments explore the white threads

post 233: doves, statues, garden, theory

Marsh 2015-1 copy


I’ll tell you a story

early yesterday, while applying eyeliner
watching light sparkling the walls
I noticed seven mourning doves
underneath the bird feeders
each one pointing in a different direction
still, silent
small cement garden statues
you know
those songbirds always bobbling, wobbling through irises and day lilies
pecking for seeds

but these seven were still, still
they remained, clay moulded from the earth
soft bellies
orangey-red legs and feet
squeaky wings flying them to hemlock tops

ok please, become a dove yourself, exploring cornfields
breakfast for your babies
suddenly, violent pelting
piercing soft brown breasts
ripping tender flesh
the shooting stopped
then someone kicked and stomped on you
blue skies turned black
as your head was twisted, ripped off

placing my eyeliner on the windowsill
I noticed the unmoving seven
my theory….you’ve been wondering
several hours earlier, at daybreak,
many shots of dove hunters in the cornfields by the bay

the birds in my garden were in shock
partners killed, frightened babies left in nests
survivors of a nightmarish war

Ye Southern gentlemen,
oh, ye football men, ye GARDEN AND GUN MAGAZINE,
our small sons don’t need this tradition, this KILLING
to raise them up
to make them men
the doves won’t last forever

Post 231:banana leaves, ant, crumb, afternoon sun

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Mama called late afternnoon “technicolor time”

the banana tree shimmered
as the day darkened
patches of blazing yellow
jumped from leaf to leaf

nearby, on the back deck, an ant tussled with a crumb

when he came to the crevice where the floor boards met
he would hurl the crumb into the crack
swing his hind legs up to next board
travel backwards a few steps, turn around, resume speed

on and on for about 15 feet, miles to him
he walked
finally disappearing off the deck into the leaves

what miracles were down Toogoodoo Road
I could only wonder

Post 230: grapevine, green beetle, jardinere, rain, praying mantis


yoga outside in morning sun

doing stretchies outside
under limbs of oak
on one is a stretching grapevine
like me
it is reaching toward heaven
toward millions of miracles

the vine resembles a giant dancing praying mantis
jiggling in the wind with red legs
and moving leaves its costume
a graceful creature with a life too deep
for bigotry and judgement

no less is the almost drowned green beetle
floating in the green jardinere
who’s been there since midnight
but once out
is stretching too
its waterlogged legs

Post 229: quiet morning

In The Air copy

the honor of quiet

a screech owl the night before
grunts and tiny squeaks of a week old baby
gentle wind through rustling bananna leaves
fluttering hummingbirds in the salvia
settling rain clouds
singing with your daughters
singing with your friends

a slow curving line
that will always bring you home

Post 228: golden marsh, morning, new baby girl coming

Marsh 2015-1 copy

southern autumn for a new granddaughter

sultry evening air
through dark dancing oak limbs

deer reaching
balancing front hooves
up on palms
feasting on every last berry

whistling twittering bird song
over marsh grasses
in open morning windows

ecstacy to be
a traveling soul again

Post 226: child, tanager, hummingbird, love, world

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the wonder

you can give a child
hummingbirds at the salvia
tanagers and bluebirds at the suet
toads at the door in the dark of night

feed a roach to the toads
and talk about death
how it must crunch

show her the tides
the white egrets flying
the vibrations
connecting each person on earth to the moon and the sun
from her travels, you know
she will already know

Post 225: prayer, beauty, dragonfly, hibiscus


dragonfly on hibiscus for Pas de Deux

all through the fine day

I was loving the world
as many do, it’s so easy
tanangers pecking at the windows, bluebirds at the suet feeder
cute little squirrel tenderly napping on a nearby branch
the persistant one that drinks from our make-shift birdbath

the small group of toads
gathering at night outside our door
waiting to pounce on slow-moving june bugs

after the downpour yesterday
the booming thunder
after the terrorizing of our Holy City

I thought I understood love
…..all that matters
…..all you need

but being immersed in a southern love cloud
the air feels sizzly with a new kindness
hope has settled on the back porch
where a dragonfly perched on a scarlet hibiscus
gripped my aching soul, and said
go now
you know how to move this earth forward

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Post 276: Great White Egret, fish, neck, heaven, stars

Carol-3492a-2-copy copy

an evening round about

driving by the marsh at dusk
searching for stars
two late fishing egrets
glowing white in an evening veil
a familiar awe consuming me

my fingertips brush
the long stretched arc of her neck
soft white feathers
satin smooth
poured creamy silk

I gently hold her snake-like throat
tense muscular predator curve
feeling a small lump of sudden death
passing through
the interior last swim
down the dark tunnel
as the fish left
for the other world


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