Bird Poems

To many, birds are seen as nothing more than winged animals, devoid of mystery and character, but this does them a great disservice. They have inspired great men throughout the ages – all the way back to the very first men who wished to join them in the skies. It is no surprise that the sound of birds singing in the morning is so often romanticized – they inspire and delight us in equal measure. They live a life that we frequently covet; who can honestly say they have never craved the freedom to simply fly away to wherever your heart desires? We used to dream of flying through the skies with birds. We still do.

Bird Poems: 1/16
Nature, Bird
Snowy Owl, A Bird That’s Not an Oriel

Snowy Owl

I feel like such a fool
having described the snowy
owl to you. Laying bare
insecurities with each guess
on the black spots
of tail feathers and the why
of blank aggressive stares.

I didn
t know it would feel
like rape when I touched
her back in the early 90s.
t expect the phone call
that drove me past Denver
to the dorm room and a
horrid night reaching out
to someone who hated
everything about herself.

I feel like such a fool
having described the snowy
owl to you. It feels useless now,
the thought of tracing paper
along the white breast
or pointing and laughing
about the contrast of the
yellow see-through eyes.

I wish I could kill her
and you and the kids
and the world and myself
sometimes. It passes,
I suppose, as all things
pass I suppose. I
ve never
seen one, you know. Blaze
white against snow, apparent
and subtly camouflaged.

A Bird That
s Not an Oriel

A strange disciple this bird, at this hour.
Her chirps could tease the last bit of marrow
from the dead. If I had an orange,
d pretend she was an oriel. And I
d cut
it in half, and hang it from the maple.

I remember my mother
s story
about a squirrel. He was trying to get the seeds
from the green plastic barrel. The fucker
chewed up five square inches of plastic.
Talk about determination.

My bird, this not-oriel, is still chirping.
It is the same cadence I wished I could drum
in the school band. I want to drum
it out for you with my fingers on your back.
I want to record this one syllable so I can listen forever.