Squadron — A Poem

Blue jay.jpg

“Blue Jay” — C.Birde, 11/16


Parting rain and fog, they come full scream,

announcing their arrival, alerting me.

Dressed in crests and admiralty blue,

they arrange themselves in ranks

I can’t discern –

white-tipped blue ornaments

scattered among the pine’s green-fringed limbs,

along the railing and the gutters’ edges;

when I am slow to respond,

on the screen door’s handle.

I’ve read that their coloration is due

to their feathers’ internal structure ,

the result of light interference;

that crushing destroys the feather’s blue –

a questionable desire.

And I’ve read that each individual

wears distinct markings,

a collar of black

encircling the nape of each neck,

dipping down and forward

along each white-bibbed front –

unique as a fingerprint.

Despite these facts, they remain a blur of blue.

The designated caller peers down expectantly

from the gutter’s edge.

We observe each other,

envoys of overlapping kingdoms.

We converse,

and the off-white feathers at his throat

ruffle and stir.

When I send the nut skyward,

he lifts on spread wings and fanned tail.

Fingertips to talons.

Midair he collects my gift, his prize.

The moment joins and connects us.

We are inseparable.


— C.Birde, 11/16



3 thoughts on “Squadron — A Poem

  1. it’s all wonderful, but the lines from “We observe each other” to the end are exceptional. The last line leaves the reader with such an impact, realizing that we can have this connection between our “civilized” selves and “wild” creatures. so vividly written that i clearly “see” the images. i am also impressed with your ability to study the natural world meticulously. your poem reminds me of something that mary oliver wrote: “Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. This one definitely had a mind of its own 😉 I consider myself exceedingly lucky to have time and interest and temperament well-suited to observing the small bit of natural world around me, and to be able to forge some small connection with the creatures that visit…mostly birds — blue jays, cardinals, catbirds. For a time, a family of crows visited often, but three years ago, they left for reasons entirely their own, and have only recently made a timid and occasional reappearance. Thank you for the Mary Oliver quote — I love it and am in total agreement…I must add her to my ever-increasing book list. Some of my favorite naturalist books have been “Meadowland — the Private Life of an English Field” by John Lewis-Stempel; “Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile” by Verlyn Klinkenborg; “The Years of the Forest” by Helen Hoover; and “The Outermost House” by Henry Beston. Also, I adore Willa Cather’s books, for her ability to describe the land in such intimacy that it is its own character. Not that you asked, but, there it is… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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