And let me say this,

I watch Ravens pump

glossy black wings


Hear them beat the air down as they

fly low over the garden,

over my head


Or see them black

at a distance, passing smoothy

in front of Mt Abe


Or listen to their chatter and deliberation

at nesting time, and the first flight

of gawky fledglings


Cherish glossy curled feathers

found under their nest tree.


And I just come out of myself and soar

with each Raven sound and sight.

My totem animal not doubt –

or my next reincarnation.




12 Bird Poems


A tiny hummingbird

perches on the thinnest limb

of a cedar outside my window.


It’s approaching dusk – a heavy

feeding time and everyone shows up

and I’m listening for Ravens.


Mornings open here with mist rising

from the meadow, the babble of birdsong.

And Ravens launching their busy day.


Coffee on the porch and Raven chatter

from the pine stand across the meadow –

up on the rise across the road.


And we close the day in much the same way,

but with wine!




12 Bird Poems


The Bird Tree is in a bubble

I inhabit during fleeting

Vermont summers.


Perennials surround the tree

and flank the observation porch

a few feet away.


Squirrels, Chipmunks, and

an occasional Black Bear

are also attracted by the feeders.


Porch visitors comment on the activity

around my porch, and might be scolded,

as they sit, by a Blue Jay looking for peanuts.


This is healing energy which, perhaps,

I could bottle and distribute –

an elixir in these dismal times.


12 Bird Poems


The Mullen is tall, delphinium in bloom, Echinacia

about to flower and the Hummingbird

shuns the feeder for authentic nectar.


Busy summer garden days

interrupted to sit and watch

Bird joy, stillness, mediative.


Out of myself and what has to be done,

talking to birds and thinking –

they know me, perhaps.



12 Ways of Looking at Birds


Bird looking listening

from the bird tree near the porch

this perfect Vermont morning


Raven husky caulk and croon

floats across dew cloaked meadows

drowning soft Chickadee hum and flutter.


Bold Jay stomps and caws

tilting his head to eye

the peanut spot, demanding!


Sleek Mourning Doves mourn

and coo as they peck seed

from the ground.


A Red Winged Black Bird

strikes her crystal note

and flies away flashing red.


Then the Raven comes out of the tall tree stand

and all I can hear is the power,

the loud swoosh, swoosh

of her wings.




12 Ways of Looking at Birds


Such a marvel I think

as I observe these tiny

feathered beings flit and hum.


Hummingbirds fly hundreds of miles

in a day and weigh

less than a nickel – I have read.


But I know that what it is like

to hold a Hummingbird,

– is incomprehensible, unless you have.


A feather-soft weightless heartbeat

– in your hand.

12 Ways of Looking at Birds


Raucous Raven chatter echos across the meadow

from the tall trees of the wood stand.

The conversation between them goes on,

discordant growls and low caulks.


I mimic their language not knowing

what I’ve said and wonder if they are listening

to me – sometimes I think there’s an answer.


12 Ways of Looking at Birds


Bird Tower of Babble at the Bird Tree

perched on by immigrants and varied species

speaking disparate languages


As with humans, language reveals:


The soft bizz bizz of gentle Chicadees,

and a quiet low chirp from flitting hummingbirds –

it’s their wings that hum!


The Blue Jay is assertive and loud

Robins sing pretty songs at a distance

House Sparrows skitter quietly on the ground


Woodpeckers make an edgy sound, and Ravens

well, Ravens are just discordant and loud.

Ravens do not sing!




12 Ways of Looking at Birds


Let me recount my multi-colored, full-throated, feathered brood:

Chickadee, House Sparrow, Junco, Jay

Nuthatch, Robin

Purple Finch, Gold Finch,

Ruby Throated Hummingbird, Crow

Red Winged Black Bird, Tree Swallow

Downey Woodpecker, Snowy Woodpecker,

Mourning Dove, Cedar Waxwing, Cardinal

And not least of these –




12 Ways of Looking at Birds


Dreaming in birdsong

dreaming in birdsong to learn the tune

Did the birds teach us to sing

around ancient fires –


our first grounded

gutural utterances –