Words for Birds


First person singular prohibited. In order
to be more crow.
War! war! war! war! war!

Then there’s that lowland wetland bird
around the stunted red pines crying
Birdy, birdy, birdy, birdy.

Hear the redwing blackbird chirring
Her, her, her. . . she
as one might expect, Spring.

Words for birds
since they’re inaccessible. Aim
binoculars left, right, up, down–missing every time.

At the piano recital
Aaron made the penguins run, run, run, not waddle,
from a hungry polar bear!

Everything passes, even a massacre,
but birds outlast cars
and words like chemical and holocaust.

Woodpecker climbs oak,
Connecticut.
Not one neighbor heard the knocking.

The voice of a pewee
whose nest has fallen out of the tree.
Oh my! Oh me!

What did the wood thrush sing
that summer evening
teaching its young thrush meanings?


Copyright 2012 by Robert Ronnow.