Bird with an Attitude

I have a tin ear for birds. So I appreciate the dozen or two songsters so distinctive I can’t forget them. I’ll even take the phoebe that arrives on an early spring day along with the warmth and sunshine to claim its territory by my cottage with its nasal, honking, narcissistic, phoe-be, phoe-be, phoe-be that could easily be bratty bird dialect for feed-me, feed-me, feed-me. And it goes on for hours. Every year I smile nonetheless. Yet, for truly beautiful bird music, you’d be hard pressed to match the upper forests of Overlook Mountain later in the spring, where the ethereal flute-like thrushes and the happy trilling towhees spend the lackadaisical afternoons trading songs from their balconies hidden amid the newly green leaves. It’s enchanting, until you hear this character.


What can be done
with the towhee
who sings
the wrong song:
not the whistle-filled
Drink your tea-ee
but a hammering
Drink your rat-a-tat-tat
like the bastard son
of a blue jay?

(Published in the April, 2011 Chronogram.)

This entry was posted in Poems and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.