Common Birds


There are no common birds. Each wing, every song, so singular and distinct. From my distant grounded sight

In perfect view of every one

Watching for colors or shadows as the cat wraps his tawny coat around my painful knees, he sees breakfast landing amongst the fullness of green summer trees. He lays his liquid body beside my slippered feet and licks his whiskers clean, as though he’s eaten something from whatever it is cats dream.

Standing in the kitchen watching the morning unfold through my window frame,

The artistry of floating black silhouettes on a thin blue paper sky,

Reflecting my loneliness.

It lifts like the dew and rises with birds’ taking off in headlong flights.

Do they wonder why I stay on the earth so alone or do I simply

Impose this ordinary life.

Discovery of the unknown causes humans give out names,

Descriptive words like “common” for a bird.

Yet naming clips their wings making them easy to kill and worthy to count.

But whomever discovered a species

Was given the right to claim its name, captured in its bird song

Did god gave a man the pen to write

The name a bird after his wife?Unlike us who use labels for the purpose of our life’s lot,

in the wild not one lives

Below the another.

And to a bird of prey – say a falcon or a hawk – lifting and taking home a Robin or a Jay

It’s the fittest that survive – the largest and strongest.

Nothing of nature believes in an

Identification or a title.

No mammals, birds, or reptiles have to burn

Our houses to wrest control for freedom from what’s sinister around them.

As the black crow flies over traffic to wait at a drive through, its blue feathers

Blacker than the tar roads or car tires upon them.

We make objects to resemble life, as it’s our own human nature.

To drive a Jaguar or a Cougar as though their backs withstand our cruelty returning us to our feathered nests

Painted with gardens to yield the attention of earth’s creatures.

Does a peacock know his influence over this years color schemes?

Attracting the bird next door to show off his domain.

We relive past journeys in the eyes of an eagle, whose wingspan casts a shadow and blacks out day light.

He soars with so little need for energy or worry much like

Catching the vultures as they yield to the vortex of wind

Over the Everglades at dusk.

How does the word “common” apply to anything

Lifted on tornadoes of wind and rain?

Or in the spring, through no fault of their own,

Chicks crack their shells and cry for their innocent mistakes

Since being born is no common decision at all, though fate may beget every life.

Still some fall out of the nest before

They’ve ever had a chance to taste flight.

I’d like to think the worst thing besides death that could befall us: Calling one common when our minds could fly on a simple poem just like this one.

4 comments on “Common Birds”

    1. Yes indeed, the basis for the poem. And I appreciate your noticing the underlying metaphor. Much love.

I welcome your comments!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.