Thursday, August 16, 2018

Winging It

Nature can only be governed by obeying her.
— Henri Poincaré


When Christie asked for bird poems for this Friday, I was totally on board. Birds are some of my favorite people. I didn't really know what would come out, though, when I sat down to write. Like the scientists in my poem, after doing my research I was just kinda hoping for the best.


Endangered Kirtland's warbler
photo by USFWS Headquarters

Ineptly Benevolent

Picture our warbler-loving scientists,
roaming the forests with battery-powered stereos
in their data-driven hands, tucking them into young pines
and leaving them to sing a warbler here, and another,
to this enticing new home, move-in ready,
with romantic rendezvous potential.

We stage and we plan, but we are also fluent in surprise,
like the experts who realized after years of holding forests still,
keeping the tall piney matches from burning
assuming that blazes were bird-scuttling habitat-ruiners --
that some species seek out after-fire areas,
rejoice in the phoenix world, seek it,
flight-follow the scent of char.

***********

How Makeshift Stereos Could Help an Endangered Warbler Find a New Home
Wildfire Benefits Many Bird Species

Wondering and Wandering has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Christie!

15 comments:

Diane Mayr said...

flight-follow the scent of char.

Love that line! I don't believe I've ever seen a warbler in the wild.

Kathryn Apel said...

This is a wonderful poem, Tabatha! So much detail woven into it.

Michelle Kogan said...

I like how you wove in the phoenix–that is reborn again out of the flames–and this connection with the forest blazes helping the birds. Interesting juxtaposition between your first stanza and second in your multi-layered strong poem, thanks Tabatha

Brenda Harsham said...

Such an unexpected ending to your poem. I was thinking it was about scientists and it pivoted, leading me to remember our summer of fires. Perhaps the birds are recovery teams, arranging seeds just so. Planning the wild abandon of pristine new forest.

Linda B said...

I read the article, another way to look at prescribed burns, isn't it? And I love the way you told this story, Tabatha, "to sing a warbler here, and another, /to this enticing new home, move-in ready,". Scientists are to be appreciated for their creativity as well as their expertise!

Ruth said...

"Fluent in surprise."

Perfect.

Rebecca Herzog said...

I love how you've painted the scientists as almost real estate agents for the birds. I also like the extra twist of info at the end. Working for the forest service, we talked a lot about how forests bounce back after fires, and the roles that the animals can play in that process.

Margaret Simon said...

I love your rich poem. That last line "flight follow the scent of char." And the internal rhyme of surprise and realize. Thanks for sharing.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Beautiful imagery & emotion, Tabatha - love the idea of "rejoicing in the phoenix world!"

Mitchell Linda said...

rejoice in the phoenix world, seek it.
Such a delicious line. I read it over and over. Tabatha, this is a gorgeous poem. Even better that you discovered it in the research and the writing. Pure pay dirt.

Molly Hogan said...

This poem is gorgeous and thought-provoking on many levels. There are so many wonderful lines "fluent in surprise", "flight-follow the scent of char". Oh, I'm so glad you took up the challenge and delivered this beauty to PF! Brava! PS--One of my poems is about a phoenix, too.

Kay said...

I love the line "fluent in surprise" May we always remain fluent in surprise and open to learning surprising new things!

Catherine Flynn said...

A beautiful, thoughtful poem, Tabatha.I love "but we are also fluent in surprise" and "rejoice in the phoenix world."

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

"We stage and we plan, but we are also fluent in surprise"

Too true! Did you surprise even yourself with this poem? IMHO, hoping for the best appeared to have worked.

Carol Varsalona said...

Loving the ending, Tabatha:
that some species seek out after-fire areas,
rejoice in the phoenix world, seek it,
flight-follow the scent of char.
Your poem came seems to be a hit with everyone. (Great job doing your research)