Monday, March 12, 2012

Cowbirds

Be reasonable.
Don't die here, not yet.
Besides,
A good French manicure should never be wasted;
So keep fluttering your hands,
Asking for water (good!),
And variously demonstrating that the heart within you still beats.

You think me unkind.
Why?
I stomp on anybody's hands
When I find them hanging from the high wall by their fingertips like that.
If Goddess meant for us to be vines,
She would create us as slender,
Graceful,
Rising things;
Not great crashing beasts
Caught in nets,
Idiotically bellowing.

Hold still.
Be a lady for once.
Pretend that you forgive me,
And I will build a nest from assorted debris,
As birds do,
A little round emblem of natural perfection
That we can call home
Just long enough
To fall out of.
______ 
for Real Toads Open Link Monday

23 comments:

Semaphore said...

I had to consult Wikipedia for "cowbirds" to figure this all out, but what a lesson! As always, you have a perspective that's slightly off-center, that forces you to look again at something that seems so ordinary, to figure out what it is you've found that elevates it.

The other thing I like about this is the first-person voice, such an unusual choice, but it makes it intensely personal, and draws the reader in as the implicit listener to the narrator.

Cloudia said...

cruel mistress!



Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

>< } } ( ° >

hedgewitch said...

Every parasite is cruel by nature, by definition. The last stanza made me ache. "Pretend that you forgive me" because real forgiveness has too many strings...making it much harder to fall out.

Kay L. Davies said...

Fabulous, Shay. I love the way you've done this.
K

HermanTurnip said...

Wow...seems *somebody* got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning ;-)

Keep on building those precarious nests. (loved that bit)

Sioux said...

I had to end the night reading your poem, Shay, and what a way to top off the evening.

Isadora Gruye said...

I am an absolute sucker for a poem about birds. I don't know why (blame Poe?). I think you did justice to the entire genre. Loved the tone of the narrator and the wry add ons like the french manicure. Viva la

Sherry Blue Sky said...

So good, and poignant. The building of a nest just long enough to fall out of. Your voice is unique and amazing.

Lynn said...

Now I had to look up cowbirds. :) That's quite a story you build around them.

Kerry O'Connor said...

The title is a very intriguing one, and I love how you spin out the metaphor.. the last stanza is so very beautiful with its talk of nests, forgiveness and home.

Herotomost said...

MaybeiIts a good thing we fall out, otherwise the repairs might prove costly and for naught. And maybe we just move to a two story condo nest down by the river to get a fresh perspective. This has a very straightforward tone and message,I find it refreshing when someone can so adeptly tell it like it is and not miss a brush stroke in the telling. Great stuff.

cosmos cami said...

Oh I do feel like a great crashing beast so much of the time...

TALON said...

I loved the tension twined in this poem, Shay. Caught between grace and gracelessness.

turtlememoir said...

Brilliant! - through you, goddess' creatures speak again... and saying sooo much more than what words alone convey. For which I thank you.

Sara said...

I will never look at cowbirds the same way again:~)

We have them in our yard and they do lay their eggs in other birds nests, often cardinals.

I always think of how strange it is for the cowbird who must feel like the ugly duckling as it follows the cardinals around.

razzamadazzle said...

You always have such a great unique perspective to every topic you write about. I love visiting here.

darkangelwrites said...

I heard my mother's voice in my head when I read your title, "Damn cow birds scare all the pretty one's a way. They're such pigs they take all the good seed."

shawnacy said...

love this.
love. this.
so many things - in each stanza it seems that the perspective shifts slightly. a slight tilt of the lens.

really straight telling, leafed in metaphor as it is.

think i'll hold onto this one today.

Shawna said...

Love this: "And I will build a nest from assorted debris ... That we can call home Just long enough
To fall out of."

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Lolamouse said...

Wow. I'm putting my pen down now. (hangs head)

zongrik said...

the old be a lady speech...been there done that. make them go away.

four animal dedication senryu

Mama Zen said...

"Hold still.
Be a lady for once.
Pretend that you forgive me"

That cuts right to the bone.

myheartslovesongs said...

what she said!

i can relate to the "fall out of" {fell off the sofa again last night.}

i bet you could write about pickles and olives and make it an amazing effing poem!

{mumble...grumble...}{rubbing my head from when i hit the floor}{i am NOT jealous!}{.........}