Tag Archives: poems about birds

The Language of Birds

Version 2

The Language of Birds

The bird swoops
from the neighbor’s roof,
low over the pool
like a crop-dusting plane over prairie wheat.
I duck,
and when I again look up,
it has already sailed over my bedroom dome,
up to the hills that march above our fraccionamiento,
still green from the rainy season,
holding yellow flowers in bunches
like a hopeful suitor.

It is movement only
and a flash of brown,
not white like the albino owl
that swooped in a similar downward curve
over the pool and up again
that night our old friend died
alone in a hotel room in London.

This is the language of birds.
My two-woodpecker alarm clock,
every morning stirring me
from my solitary bed
to engage with the day.
The whir of hummingbirds
outside the window
in front of my desk cave,
sipping flowers,
drawing my attention away
from the worrisome puzzle of the next word.

White egrets,
standing at attention on one leg,
balancing on the dense hyacinths
that blanket the lake,
one eye intent on shadows
beneath water no human eye sees.
That sudden flash,
a filled beak
and that puzzle of digestion­­­­––
how to get a horizontal fish down a vertical gullet.

All the music of my life
sometimes distills down to the chorus
of thrush and cardinal,
wren and grackle,
the caesura
of the egret.
By some synchronicity,
conducted into a natural choir
that is beautiful in its spontaneity.
What orchestra has that fine precision
and that moving harmony?
Every art a mere imitation
of what the world provides us every day
that we present ourselves to experience it.

Cancelled Flight

Cancelled Flight

No architect of reason can save them from their plight.
No proffered catnip ransom restore their former flight.
When lethal paws unsheath their daggers, hummingbird and finch—
Their wings, stilled from their flight, lie scattered on the bench.



Prompt words today are architect, can, ransom, plight and paws.

Green Cuisine


Christine Goodnough knows me so well. When she issued this challenge, she probably knew I’d not only do her bidding, but exceed it.  Here is her challenge:

I enjoyed your poem very much. However, it did set my mind to whirling, especially the part about ugly words having a charm of their own. So here are a few…er…unique words. And since it’s April, they’re green. I challenge you to whip up a poem with three of them. 😉

poison ivy


Yes, of course I used not only three but all of them.  Overachievers never grow up, after all.

Green Cuisine

Since my parakeet moved to Greenland, green things are all he’ll eat,
so cuisine without much chlorophyll is sure to meet defeat.
He’ll eat poison ivy and rosemary and dill.
Basil with fettuccine is welcome in his bill.

But just plain yellow birdseed is a taste he’d never pick.
He prefers green tea ice cream even though he cannot lick.
His speed devouring veggies is the fastest I have seen
so long as I remember that those veggies must be GREEN!!

Blueberry, Blueberry, Blackbird Pie: NaPoWriMo 2016, Day 26


Blueberry, Blueberry, Blackbird Pie

Gotta get a cookie. Gotta eat some pie.
Gotta have some sugar, do or die.
Grab a fork and grab a spoon.
Sugar shack opening pretty soon.

Hey lolly hey lolly, blueberry pie.
Hope to have some by and by.

Old Mother Crank put a pie up on the shelf.
Thought she’d eat it all herself.
Along came a blackbird who grabbed a bit of crust,
then the whole damn pie as the old lady cussed.

Hey lolly, hey lolly, no more pie.
Blackbird made it go bye bye.

Old Mother Fussbudget loaded up her gun.
She didn’t have pie, but she was gonna have some fun.
When she spied that blackbird way up high,
she fired her gun up in the sky.

Hey lolly, hey lolly, no berry pie.
Just that blackbird winging through the sky.

Now old Mother Wigglewaggy baked another pie.
It’ll be ready in the blinking of an eye.
She had two pieces, then she had a third,
Since she didn’t have fruit, she used the bird!!

Hey lolly, hey lolly, no bird pie.
I prefer my blackbird served on rye!

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a call and response poem.


Mr. Crow


Mr. Crow

A flash of shadow in morning’s glow–
interrupts the daylight’s flow.
That sleek black coat I seem to know.
Why have you come here, Mr. Crow?

I heard that here the water’s fine.
The garden lush. The fruit divine.
I saw it falling from the vine
and swooped right in to make it mine.

You bow at us as though in jest,
then bend your wing and dip your chest.
You have not come at our behest.
We know you rob the songbird’s nest.

But I just stand here, staunch and tall.
I make no movement, sound no call.
I threaten no one.  None at all.
Your garden holds me in its thrall.

The mourning doves and chickadees
do not bathe here as they please.
Black bird, you splash there, as though to tease,
then dry your feathers in the breeze.

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I watch to see what you may do.
Through kitchen window, you’re in full view.
One beaded eye of turquoise hue
watches no songbirds.  It watches you.

Mr. Crow, with feathers fine,
take care where you might choose to dine.
The grapes you eat were meant for wine.
Please stick to seeds.  The grapes are mine!

To those of you behind the drapes,
it is a myth I dine on grapes
In garden grass, I watch for shapes.
No skittering snake or mouse escapes.

Small birds won’t deign to linger near
or take a bath while you are here.
Their fluttering movements display their fear.
They find your visit very queer.

I haven’t been here very long.
I’ve robbed no grapes, I’ve stilled no song.
Though your suspicions are grossly wrong,
since I’m not welcome, I’ll move along.

The blackbird lifts from saucer’s edge,
skirts the  treetops, lands on the hedge.
A warbler lifts from stalks of sedge
and takes his place on the birdbath’s ledge.