Sunday, February 7, 2016


I had ventured out, on errands,
On a sunlit winter day,
And the curbside snow had melted
As I walked upon my way.
And turning ‘round a corner,
Of a sudden, I could hear
Some little birds conversing,
With loud and spring-like cheer.

The sparrows all were talking
As they sat upon their trees.
They gossiped, as they chattered
In their speech of chirps and tweets.

And I, who had been walking,
Alone, except for thoughts,
Had heard their pulsing twitter—
As if of ones and naughts.
But this was ancient nature—
And yet forever young,
Not digits coldly streaming—
But notes, with ardor sung.
And so I stopped and listened
And wondered what was said—
As I’d done with hieroglyphics
In books I once had read.
Of what were they then talking
Upon that winter day?
I stood awhile in sunshine
And went upon my way.

I walked along the streets then
And I heard the pigeons call,
As the sparrows flew from branches
To the streets, as leaves might fall.

But then, unlike the leaflets,
They would hasten back on high.
For all the sparrows' actions,
There are surely reasons why.

Their time to live is shorter;
They move at faster speed.
They notice things that humans
Might rarely know to heed.

And so they swooped and darted.
They chirped; they tweeted, trilled—
At all of which, the pigeons
Were not the least bit thrilled.

But some of these were cooing,
As if the spring was here.
They bobbed their heads and strutted,
And flew when I got near.

So all around was chatter.
The birds were giving voice
To things, perhaps, that matter—
Of weather or of choice.
So humans might have spoken,
When gathered by a stream,
Of what they’d hunted, gathered
Or what they’d chanced to dream.
The sun had brought the pigeons
And the sparrows out that day.
And I, for one, was lucky
To hear their serenades.
Or so I could imagine,
Although it wasn’t me
To whom the birds were calling,
From pavement, roof and tree.
And then, the skies grew cloudy.
I heard the birdsong fade.
The pigeons ceased their cooing;
The sparrows flew away.
I shivered, as the winter
Sent winds to chill my chest.
It’s time, I thought, for turning
Towards home—and warmth and rest.

I’d ventured, sad and lonely,
To brave the winter’s cold,
To carry out my errands,
Though weary, sore and old.

I hurried through those errands
And then, enlivened, back.
The birds, to me, had given
The company I’d lacked.
2016 February 7th, Sun
Brooklyn, New York

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