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Bird Calls (or The Life of Birds in East Texas)
An unseen bird attempts to be heard
over the whir-chunk-clamor
of machinery digging up dirt
on a Sunday before noon.
Not many cars drive down the nearby road,
past the partially cleared forest
that frames a farm house covered
in a final vinyl after years of peeling paint.
A ten-year-old girl is indoors,
listening to the cacophonous music,
after faking an illness
to escape another sermon that always seems to end
with a dove flying over a mythical man’s head.
Maybe the preacher likes birds, like her,
watches and listens to them in the early morning
before the competing sound of progress
uproots more tress, digs up more ground below
in which will flow a human obsession
that burns up and disappears quicker than a passion,
while the calls of birds remain unanswered.
(October 2012, in support of the Tar Sands Blockade in East Texas. (Take action in your community and donate to the cause to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline @ http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/donate-3/. )
V-Formation (or The Life of Birds at Town Lake)
Music after the afternoon dream coos
in the trees, lofty wild parrots squawk,
aping human noises; mocking birds
chirp like false car alarms
in a new condo complex parking lot.
On a day of breezes, black birds fight
with broken glass as ducks float
on Town Lake, a slow picture show
before the storm of man-made rapture…
I’lll miss the green grass and man-made happy trails
to a nature landing, on the cool bank where two friends
sit silently, skipping stones and an unimportant destination.
There is no human v-formation.
“Bird Calls” and “V-Formation” © 2012 by Danna Williams, a.k.a. Renée Valmont.