Song of the Titmouse

Light shined, and the world revolved perfectly. All seemed to be in its rightful place. A breeze drifted by, playfully picking up spray from a brook. It lifted drops off of the brilliant blue surface. The water, swift and clear, carved grooves in its muddy banks. A soothing warmth beamed down from sun, and encouraged an easy repose. Grass responded, growing at its greenest beneath trees that reached out with strong, unwavering boughs. Everything was radiant and alive. On one branch, a titmouse sang; the world seemed brighter for it.

Light gleamed, though shadows darkened. Elms and oaks bent in submission to a howling, restless wind. It swept through, lifting water up in sheets from a nearby river. Careless and confused, the current surged on in chase of a destination ever far and out of sight. In a bordering field, weeds grew in with grass, replacing flowers. Tall trees stood strong, while brambles curled about their trunks. A titmouse sang, the sound clear despite the relentless wind. Nature was heartened, and journeyed on.

Light shone out through a thick haze, tiring in its resistance against the gloom. Wet on wet, a steady downpour beat upon the surface of a stream. Unclear of where it headed, the waters simply moved of habit. Old mudbanks loomed far above what had become a steady trickle. The gale surged on, air thick with frigid water. It was impossible to tell which water was of the creek and which was of the sky. It made no difference anyhow. The icy blasts continued their barrage, leaving grass and weeds flattened as one. All remaining flowers died, too delicate for such a strain. The last and strongest branches cracked on trees with sturdy trunks. With tones of hope and determination, a titmouse spun a tune above the din. From this, creation took great strength, and still endured.

Darkness seeped into the cracks, sensing victory at hand. Air spiraled in a wind of biting cold, with no restraint. Where water had once rushed, snow and ice battered down on an empty channel. Weeds had choked out all the grass. Hollow pillars, once having reached for the sky, stood creaking, simply there. A voice called out; a single, lonely, beautiful note that wavered on the wind. It waned, and began to crack.

The call was gone, and the last of the light let go.

By Sophia Anne Charles

small grey bird perched on branch


Sophia Anne Charles is a talented, emerging writer of nature-oriented poetry and thoughtful, short fiction. Her focus is the intersection of nature, the human spirit and life’s often-lost simple observations. She resides in Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

Photo of Tufted Titmouse by Brian Lasenby

Wetland Heron

Awkward heron abandons shallow pond,
strides through wetland chaparral.
With tweezering beak, stabs
fleeing insects, uncovers grubs.

Like a misplaced, azure apparition,
he haunts meadow, coyote bush flats.
Dog walkers cede his sovereignty,
avoid interruption, stick to civilized trail.

Intent on alfresco dining,
big bird placidly forages.
Sated, he hauls himself
aloft into cold winter air.

By Jennifer Lagier

Great Blue Heron


The author, Jennifer LagierJennifer Lagier has published thirteen books, taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium readings. Newest books: Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle Press). Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018). Website: jlagier.net Facebook: www.facebook.com/JenniferLagier/ Photo by the author.

Funny Coucal

o
oh! oh!
sounded the bird
hopping on ground,
flickering her red-bead eyes,
brown bird of envy,
with black fan-tail,
swerving hastily to
imitate a full-grown peacock
a bird with good wings,
but lazy to fly,
snooping on ground
for tiny worms,
working on funny vocals
now and then to utter
o,oh! Oh!

By Thriveni C Mysore

black and red bird with long tail


Thriveni C Mysore is a science teacher from Karnataka, India.
She loves Philosophy and finds solace in Nature Poetry. Photo provided by the author.

See additional photos and hear the Coucal on YouTube.

Frozen

Slow sinking clump through compact white,
Polar wind carrying only muffled memories of sound
Like screwing up your ears through an eiderdown.
Face due North. End the cosy metaphor.

Close sounds. High pitched avian broadcasts
Speak of small bodied urgency cut to the bone.
The tree is festooned with birds on fatty garnish
Like an animated specimen case.

Then I see, just beyond the feeding ground,
Suspended, inverted, by single fuse wire foot,
A Blue Tit. Freeze frame enigma,
Its mate feather flaps a warning.
This is no acrobatic feat, no Parus circus –
Ice whips the threat of glacial shroud.

So with plume light touch, I collect the eleven grams
Into my igloo sleeve, heat transmitting.
One foot clings to palm flesh,
The other conducts the urge to follow.
Miracle of warmth, life force aligned.

Abruptly, the frantic flap of captive passerine.
Accordingly, it touches down atop the globe,
Hops along the top shelf of once read novels,
Is cornered on the pocket sized Collins Gems.

I am bird nurse turned jailer,
With impure thoughts of caging, studying, sketching.

But where every eight beat second counts,
In the clamourous foraging of abbreviated days,
The bird must fly to chance the glorious uncertainty.

By Lindsey Wakefield

blue titmouse in the winter forest


See Lindsey’s artwork at The Hayloft Gallery.
Photo by Evgenii Zadiraka

Old Sparrow and Snow

Ruffled feathers worn
from a lifetime
of winters.

His last snowfall
spent perched
on cedar branches.

By Catori Sarmiento

snow and sparrow on branches


After growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Catori Sarmiento’s world travels have often inspired her unique writing style. When not exploring the many cracks and crags in Japan, Catori Sarmiento spends her time writing poetry and prose. As an author, her works have appeared in numerous literary publications. Visit her at www.catorisarmiento.com

Photo of sparrow by divedog