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song birds

April 1, 2014

The poem:

Winter is sorrow
that always lingers past our desire to see it gone
trampling hearts as snow and ice bury the meadow grass

and cycling
rolling, sliding, skimming along the path
just two days before a silent frozen place

red-winged blackbirds
peek out from leafless branches, tentatively
telling us that what we hope may be

possible
that like spring must follow winter
the song birds always return

The bike ride:

The winter has been long here, long and bitterly cold. Today I went for a bike ride through the park nearby, where just a day or two ago the snow rendered it impassable.

The landscape was grim and brown, trampled down under the weight of the heavy winter. But as I rolled along the rutted path I heard singing. It was a red-winged black bird. Not so pretty, some might say a junk bird.

His song cheered me, told me that eventually spring comes. I suppose that’s the lesson of the spring – the song birds always return.

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From → dverse, poetry

24 Comments
  1. Thank you, Bill! It’s a lovely reminder that will become a reality here, soon! I can hardly wait to see a Robin!!!!

  2. Nooooo not a junk bird. We were excited when they came through Port Aransas and covered our little tree by the patio. Beautiful songs but they were chattered at and accosted by the grackles who were there year-round.

    I love that imagery of their dark wings with flashes of red and their songs lifting spirits, heralding spring. Spring is hopeful and I love the word usage throughout your poem very much.

  3. gailatthefarm permalink

    I think the whole nation is ready for spring.

  4. Oh yes, it is always good to keep in mind that the song birds will always return. An optimistic thought after a long winter!

  5. I too await spring with bated breath. saw a V of geese this morning (or rather heard than saw) and felt it might be a sign spring is almost hear. I wager your little birds song was much more pleasant.

  6. I had a similar experience recently…I heard the beautiful call and searched the trees for the origin. When I spotted his red wing he was very close…his song went on and on and I felt privileged to see this first sign of spring for me….not on a bike, tho….;)

    • I agree – it’s like being part of a concert – but the male birds are singing for love

  7. I bicycle to work every day.. and oh the joy of hearing the birds.. stil mostly tits.. I sincerely enjoy bike rides too.. I took my roadbike out for thr first ride this weekend.. great ride.

    • nice!

      You know what comes soon… the serenade of the frogs. Sometimes it feels like a monster movie 🙂

  8. Glenn Buttkus permalink

    For some of us who write so often while running with the dVerse dogs, National Poetry month does not phase us much, but hey, it might inspire those who write less; good work on the prompt; sweet & sour, sad & hopeful.

  9. Tsk!. There is no such thing as a junk bird.Even the little brown sparrow has a beauty. The winter has turned you brown but when the spring breaks through you will be more positive…buy yourself a big bunch of daffodils and you will feel better…always works for me !

  10. Winter is so long here so I can understand the sorrow & sadness ~ I saw some geese today in the parking lot and wanted to shout, yahoo, here comes spring ~ Can’t wait for the bird songs ~

  11. jo-hanna permalink

    I reckon a red-winged blackbird is very special. Never seen one.
    Yes, subtle signs in your poem pointing to your Spring finally arriving.
    Ours seems to go over quickly with all spring flowers out at once.

    • Where you from Jo-hanna ? Some years spring lingers like parting lovers – and some it bursts like fireworks
      I prefer fireworks –

  12. Ah, at last a sign of spring! It is magical, isn’t it, to hear that first trill, especially after a long winter!
    Thank you for a lovely hymn to the season!

  13. A wonderful post to welcome National Poetry Month!!! 🙂

    • is it ? Three cheers – but I was trying to write a metaphor for sadness and sorrow which judging from some of the comments I missed. However spring is nothing to not crow about 🙂

      • I was just reading up on Louise Bogan, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Gertrude Stein in connection with Poetry Month. It seems that poets have a very clear understanding of sadness and sorrow. The feel deeply and are able to express these emotions to others who are unable to give voice to this experiences. You capture this in your words.

  14. Yes, and I think a red-winged blackbird must be beautiful! We are a bit ahead of you – our hummingbirds are here. I hung the feeders this morning, doors open to the warm sun….so welcome after a long winter…….take heart – it will be there soon!

  15. yes… they always return… and i find it magical to be out on my bike as the world awakens around me… hope spring hits full force where you live soon as well

  16. smiles. gotta love the bird songs…the skitter of life that comes when the world wakes up again come spring…it makes us feel all things are possible again…that winter wont last forever…glad you enjoyed the bike trip bill…happy spring

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