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Category: Birds

POEM: Counting


Are there 90 million birds in Essex?
He sets up a folding chair
on the high street and starts to count.
After an hour or so the sun has risen enough
to become somewhat annoying
so he repositions the chair
but as he looks down he notices
the shadow of wings flitting
across the pavement;
he realizes he’s missed some.
I guess we’ll never know, he thinks,
and goes for a cuppa instead.

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16 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Regular Bird

Regular Bird

I saw a Regular Bird today.
It was in a bush outside the grocery store.
It was doing Regular Bird things.
A bit of hopping. A flit. The odd chirp.
I took a photo but it just looks like
a Regular Bird, which makes sense I guess.
Then when I got home I noticed
my entire neighborhood had vanished.

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2 March 2023
State College PA

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POEM: Jean-Jacques And The Finch

Jean-Jacques And The Finch

He walks five miles through suburbs and parking lots,
sending photos of English ivy back to its home ground.

He stops to look at birds because that’s what she’d do,
and that’s what he’d do, too, which is why he’s telling her.

The pods of the catalpa dangle like alien fingers
as he stoops below them to angle the camera just so.

On other nights she’s sent ghostly images of blackened forests;
captured the orange glow above rows of identical roofs.

He’s listening to Allen Ginsberg, she’s reading Rousseau.
He wishes he’d brought some water, but he hadn’t planned

to take this walk; continued in response to her delight at the photos.
A turkey vulture glides above his head. He raises one hand

to shield his eyes, captures the image with his thumb.
Rousseau to Voltaire: “I hate you … But I hate you as a man

better fitted to love you, had you so willed.”
There’s a purple finch on the wire under the water tower,

balanced in that way birds can and humans aspire to.
He imagines the feeling of falling, or feels it, truly –

his chest tightening at the thought.
When he looks again the finch is gone.

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20 February 2023
State College PA

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haiku: 5 October 2022

trying to shoot a video
of the damned hawks
don’t they know I’m on TikTok?

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5 October 2022
State College PA

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haiku: 3 October 2022

I told a friend our breakup story
it’s all still fresh on my skin
two hawks watch from the tower

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3 October 2022
State College PA

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haiku: 13 September 2022

raven on the lamppost
vans lined up beneath
testing the wind’s direction

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13 September 2022
State College PA

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haiku: 19 August 2022 (#2)

an eagle drops like a rock into the river
rises with a fish in its talons
I crane my neck, steer around the curve

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19 August 2022
just outside Bethel VT

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