Tuesday, November 17, 2009


"If it thunder while she is broody the eggs will be addle, yea and if the hen chance to heare an hawk cry they will be marred. The remedie against thunder is to put an iron nail under the straw of the hen's nest, or els some earth newly turned up with the plow."
C. Plinius Secundus

It is startling to find that you have missed an obvious connection between things you have created. It had to be pointed out to me that an egg drawer next to a bone drawer was a clear alpha and omega - a beginning and an end. Eventually it would have occurred to me but what I was concentrating on was the beauty of shapes. I remember being taught in 7th grade, in a home economics cooking class, that the egg was a perfect food in a perfect container - spare and elegant. Much later when I did a series of drawings concerning food I chose the egg as the most appropriate lunch for a poet for just those reasons.

The background for the eggs is my version of the Milky Way in Sagittarius as seen in a photo taken by the Anglo Australian telescope. It was chosen both for its mystery and for the speckled quality that is so often found on eggshells.

The 2 paper boxes of eggs are in the ornithology collection of the University of Michigan. The larger green and blue eggs are those of the American crow, Corvus brachrhynchos. The smaller box contains those of the wood thrush, Turdus mustelinus.
The very large egg is that of an emu, Dromaius movaehollandiae. For a very brief period a man set up a booth at the Royal Oak Farmers Market where he sold all manner of Emu products - pain relievers, oils, lotions, soaps and some eggs. It was an unusual opportunity.
To the right of the emu egg is that of a domestic turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, and 2 killdeer, Charadrius vociferus, eggs that were given to me by a friend who determined, after watching them for a long while, that they had been abandoned by the mother.
To the left of the boxes are 3 impostors: a glass egg, an agate egg sitting on a granite tile sample that echos the egg shapes and the speckles, and a jasper egg. The little group of leaves is made of clay and serves only as a reminder of the trees.
The 2 actual eggs on the left side of the drawing are quail eggs purchased from a local Japanese grocery store. When I investigated the sale of quail eggs on line, the kind of quail that seems to be used for this purpose is the bobwhite quail, Colinus virginianus.
The 3 little turquoise colored eggs were laid by my Uncle John's finch. The poor bird was trying very hard but since it lived alone there was no hope of raising a little family.

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