portion of the artwork for M Ross Henry's poetry

M Ross Henry’s Comments

The weather here is heaven plus humidity. I spent the bulk of the morning watching a mud dauber build a nest just inside one of my home’s window jambs. I can’t force myself tear the nest down, especially not after seeing how much work is going into it. Work and craft, the same two things that go into writing a poem. Who am I to say that the mud dauber’s pursuits are any less worthy of preservation than mine? Less worthy of consideration or protection?

There is something special in knowing exactly where the mud daubers collect their mud, exactly what paths they take to their respective nests in progress. There will be more mud daubers, but there will never be another mud dauber building this nest in this location at this time, just as there will never be this time again. This time has slipped away before I’ve even been able to type the words “this time.” Just as I am slipping away. Just as we are all slipping away. We spend our lives slipping—slipping on mud, slipping on words, slipping in an out of sun and humidity, in and out of the deep beauty of the world that we can never truly fathom.

What a gift and privilege to watch the nest being built, to bear witness to the work. Every moment is a gift. This is all I know about poetry or anything else for that matter. Friedrich Nietzsche writes, “Close beside the woe of the world, and often upon its volcanic soil, man has laid out his little garden of happiness.” Close beside the woe of the world, I am watching a mud dauber build a nest. I am not sure this makes me happy, but it is in noticing the natural world’s abundant details that I remember my body, which allows me to see, and my mind, which allows me to perceive. I am charged with using both during my lifetime, as well as with using my heart as a propeller to guide me through and through and through.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 45 | Spring 2015