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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Birds
Anyone who has seen the flight of a frigate bird knows that it is the epitome of grace and elegance. This is a poem I wrote three years ago at the beach in La Manzanilla.
The Magnificent Frigate Bird
They polonaise up higher,
far above the rest.
Not once dipping to the land.
Do they ever nest?
I never see them fishing,
foraging or chewing,
as though their wings are made for art
but are not made for doing.
A gentle crease within their wings
looks folded and unfolded,
but keeps its shape no matter what,
as though it has been molded.
This rhyme is not so fragile
nor so graceful as these birds.
I guess such elegance as theirs
cannot be caught in words.
The prompt today is elegance.
I hear a rapid rapping and I’m wondering, “Who is it?”
It’s too early in the morning for a casual drop-in visit.
I’m still in my pajamas and the dogs and cats aren’t fed.
How can company be calling while I’m still here in bed?
The knocking is insistent but I have no way to spy
upon whatever passer-by refuses to pass by.
My intercom is broken, so I call out from the door,
“Who is it?” but it’s obvious they aren’t there anymore.
I wander back to bed again, feeling somewhat tense.
Only when I’m sleeping does the knocking recommence.
“Who is it?” I scream out again, accenting every vowel.
The dogs sense my frustration and they begin to howl.
My bedroom sliders are open, so my voice soars over the wall.
Any passerby could hear if they could hear at all.
But still nobody answers. This Saturday morning’s still.
There are no other noises up here on my hill.
No car horns and no dog barks. No children’s noisy play.
No birdcalls. No construction to mar this quiet day.
Except for my invectives as the rappings start again—
louder, oh much louder than they have ever been.
As I charge out of my front door, I grab for an umbrella—
in case I need a weapon to fight off some unknown fella
intent on ruining my day, but when I turn the key
and open wide my front wall gate, there’s no one there but me!
I roar in my frustration. The whole town must hear my wails.
I throw that damn umbrella. Over the wall it sails.
I stalk back to my room and pull the covers over my head,
praying for more silence, but what I get instead
is the steady rat-tat-tatting that now upon reflection
seems to emanate from a different direction.
I draw aside my bedroom drapes and wonder, “What the heck?”
sweeping my sight across my yard, I finally crane my neck
and see it far up in a palm—an industrious woodpecker
whose ruthless drilling is the thing that’s been my sleep-in wrecker!
I cannot throw a shoe at him for I can’t throw that far.
If I tried to knock a golf ball up, I’d be far over par.
At last I view with humor this ridiculous affair,
and so I pull on Levis and smooth my ruffled hair.
I shuffle off to feed the dogs, the kittens and the cat
and just accept as music this rat-a-tat-tat-tat.
The prompt today is casual.
This fella sitting on rebar rising up from the lot next to my friend’s house was huge. Is it a Kingfisher? Closest I can come to identifying it.
For Nancy’s A Photo a Week Bird Challenge.
I was finally was able to capture these photos of papa..but no time to focus. Can you see the jet that just happened to stream by as I was snapping the one shot? Sorry about the poor photos, but I’m hoping someone will tell me if I’m right in identifying them as wrens:
(Click any photo to enlarge all.)
To read the poem “Kitchen Nativity” about this bird, his mate and nestlings, go HERE.
I crept into my kitchen to see
what caused this morning’s cacophony.
The high corner of the cupboard wall
seemed to be the source of all
the peepings and it’s then I guessed
a mother bird had made a nest
there above the kitchen ceiling,
where I thought the paint was peeling.
Instead, that white spilled down the wall
outside the kitchen is not at all
what I thought—salitre’s heavings,
but is instead the nestlings’ leavings.
The watching mother stays aloof
on the next-door neighbor’s roof
with mouth filled with a juicy grub.
Now she flies from roof to shrub,
objecting to my presence there,
so close to nestlings in her care.
And so I leave the bird’s domain,
lest nestlings’ voices be raised in vain.
Minutes later, all is still,
although I know ten minutes will
bring more protests from tiny beaks
for wormy treats that mama seeks.
So it is this year again
that Mother Nature invites guests in.
My house now shelters more than me—
my family stretched from “I” to “we.”