Nest 4 What’s Really Up

final words from my one word prompt: nest.

done now. owari desu!

a. From here, I frolic

laze with my babe

lightly lovingly pinch at the fat behind his neck.

image (2)

the doxie beast & his boy

if i were a panther, a purring lioness,

a mother owl doing her best-

there would be every color woven, every protection.

Red fuzz fine twine mud and sticks flicker “mine”–

Ours is a den set high in the trees.

image (1)

Latest repose, too cool for highchair

And we’d all giggle, knowing this nest is mostly just string, a weaving and tightening–the wonder of fertilisation

as real as the crack in an egg or the surety of spring,

when your kids will feast on wet, wriggling worms;

The accomplishment of holding out your hands to wind–to Him who gives (and takes).

To rain.

You explain to your daughter how like her pink plastic straw, the rose’s stem is sucking up water, pulling it up, travelling into branches and flower.

How we are supported by bark and bones, blood, water, and laughter.

-Melissa and Kariin Jan 2013 WEB-38

Braided K, taken by M. Willms

You want to take her to farms to see chickens laying eggs and how they know which will be a new chicken and which will land softly as an omelette in our pan, folding over with melty gouda.

This nest is all wonder, all the science of discovery. A taking part in the production of the ephemeral vs what can be blown down. The tension of singing rockabyes where babies fall out all together all down ashes and houses blowing in, grandmothers eaten wholly by wolves, Peter going out with his gun, the duck getting it first. The shattering of just-Windexed windows and the growing archetype of curiosity & that little monkey. The newfound knowledge H.A. & Margret Rey were German Jews on the run. The neglect in Are You My Mother. It’s all here. Even in the nest. Hidden, folded and stowed in my pocket like flotation devices under your seat with the nauseating discovery that planes don’t always make it.

-Melissa Maternity Jan 2013 WEB-14

Me, pregnant w/ J, taken by the remarkable M. Willms

Cling to trust. Move with the wind, dear daughter and son.

You change your lullabies to match the mood of fostering hope and love. Drown out the news, say the hawk was really a dove. The cushion is just an extra pillow in case we need it; wisdom is planning and practicing your landing, of course.

b. Here, we are like bamboo


Bamboo in earthquakes

springing, deeply rooted

bamboo in tumultuous typhoons

windstorms whoooshing

and the quiet of green drying out again.

Here we teach repair, not abandonment, the making due, the making of joy springing up in our trills. Our quills alighting.

“Michael, row your boat ashore Hallelujah.”

Here there is a song for every feat,

every “tweet” a decision to love.

The singing in our bath, holy,

even though the minute we get out, we may be cold.

A Nest, Part 3

This is a little running post I’ve been writing on the subject of…nests, people. 😉

A nest is to fill.

There is a little more in that nest today–it is a gathering up of what is sent to you on the wings of a strong wind and with pollen, with all forms of seed. It was sent your way. A little like the Keats’ story of Jenny’s Hat. Those birds just came down and laid upon her plain Jane hat all the garnish of fancy. Bows, vintage Valentines, paper swans.

Even the very chicks, a crown at the top, singing, “Make way.”


One of the fabulous pages from Ezra Jack Keat’s Jenny’s Hat story

This is some nest. This is the heart of a girl, of a mother, realised. All a family might need in the first six weeks.

And we all know, down deep, it is not the babes who need so much stuff. My gosh, even their food is chewed by us, first. We just need to feel there is some wealth. There is order and a sweet little shelf. The presence of wood, transcendent; the squeak of straw, age-old classics like a rocking chair, and those Russian matryoshka nesting dolls. (The five toys you might save from the proverbial fire). That old Velveteen Rabbit copy from when you were five. This show and tell from your own dissolved, scattered nest, to pass down, its weathered, loppy ears finally alive, useful.


And it’s really just the platform and the boundary between earth and sky, sidewalk and sun; the holding up of family, a signature crest up high, on beams. The numbers your friends will pen on their envelopes and packages, so that vellum announcements and paper airplanes can find you. A gathering. A quarry. A place to sing for meals and say, “sorry”. A refrigerator and a tool shelf. An alabaster knit sweater which will fit your entire family.  The swelling in the chest–it is a good fit.

What does your nest mean to you? What does it hold inside?

Nesting, 2, sidenote


Funny, On the night I’m thinking nesting, there is a Big Bird nesting episode on Sesame Street, an up-high nestful of squaggling, squeaking birdies on my walk, and this–my daughter happened to spot a box in my room, a sweet white box with a sticker of a yellow egg. Inside this, a piney wooden egg, some packed-down blue shreds and in the very interior, my son’s umbilical cord, like waxen floss, gathered like old Indian leather.

It was all, minus the cord, handmade.

In Japan, the cord is special, maybe even sacred? Certainly not to be tossed, not lost, not for some blue plastic biohazard box.

This is the very thing, even another string, inflated and filled with life, travelling life, which held, first tied mother and child together. And “heso“, or the point of connection, that little belly button navel, never seemed cool until my little peewees sported their own.

It only comes from being born. For Mother, too. A being born.

The nest becomes the beginning, a collecting place of all that will change.

What is an interesting or funny momento saved from your own birth, your child’s, or someone you know? What do you wish you’d saved? Would you be creeped out by an old withered umbilical cord?

*Interesting umbilical cord article re Japan: read here