by Audrey Y. Scharmen
The Muse is the goddess or power inspiring a poet
Well, mine was missing for weeks. Gone. Presumed dead. Yet she has been here all along - or so she says. It was I who was faithless. I who fell prey to apathy, I who failed to feel her gentle nudging of the psyche.
For she is always everywhere. She is a composite of all the daughters of Zeus - the very visage of nature.
She is the face of the new-blown poppy in my garden, pink and wrinkled and wet with clinging bits of bud-shell. She is all the faces of the newborn swans, seven small, pale shadows of the parents who brought them proudly to our dock, here on the creek, on a misty Mayday morning.
She is the buxom bee that hovers in front of my face, one of a swarm of fat carpenters dripping sawdust as they methodically dismantle the deck where I lounge in the sun. They are cartoon bees, cunning black satin clowns with enormous eyes that stare disconcertingly into mine until I turn anxiously aside.
The song of my Muse is the bittersweet cry of an osprey and the boisterous racket of Canada geese who stage an on-going territorial dispute with mute swans in a neighboring cove. Hers is the rare dance of eagles I saw recently alongside the shore where they came briefly together low over the water, then soared high above the woodlands and out of sight. Lovers? Rivals? Who knows? (she didn't say.)
She is the swan that fed along the shore on a recent bright blue day. Contentedly tipping up - with fat ruffled rump and paddles waving frantically in the air as he dived for tender sprouts of aquatic grasses.
My Muse reminded me that she never left my side throughout a long illness several years ago. She was there in the guise of tiny golden birds and an old tabby cat who flitted comforting in and out of a dreamlike world. (They provided the inspiration for a very favorite story, so she says.)
She is the cardinal who comes to beg seeds at dusk, who sits on the garden bench just an arm's length away. She is the face of the magical moonflower and the gold of an evening primrose. She's the choreographer of fireflies. She is the drama, the dance, the music of Bay Country.
"Though one has sorrow in their soul, yet when the servant of the Muses sings, at once he forgets his dark thoughts and remembers not his troubles."
So she says. So listen to your Muse
Audrey Scharmen muses on the shores of Leason Cove in Calvert County.
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VolumeVI Number 25
June 25 - July 1, 1997
New Bay Times
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