Bread for a Circus

Duck and Ducklings

Mother Duck with her quintet brood
Came onto land for some food
Found I’d arrived with pockets bared
Sniffed and huffed that I’d dared
Greet her without a proper bribe
And swam off with her tiny tribe.

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Squatters

The vines trail over the trellis of the great gabled house
On the hill in the woods, the wind churns leaves
It scatters pieces like a child strewing sand
The neighborhood teenagers hurl stones
Crack windows
During drunken games and overnight naps
Locals turn their gaze away from the eyesore
Of yellow portico growing yellower
But in the eaves, a family of sparrows makes its nest
And a fox dens indoors on a sagging velvet armchair
Mice in the pantry drag in acorns and mushrooms
And the bat in the chimney delights in soot and dark;
Even the fire-less hearth is still a hearth
And a home, a home, for the otherwise homeless

Cat Existentialism

On padded feet you approach the window
And gaze out into the sky
I wonder what is it you think of?
I wonder what peace makes you contemplate
The world which you inhabit moment by moment
That state of being
That state of living
Without even knowing your mirror reflection
That reflects your eyes and nose and ears
Is a reflection of you
But it isn’t, is it?
Nothing can reflect your soul

Birds at the Bronx Zoo

There seems to be a theme going on in my life: one that consists of tigers. After watching and laughing at Bollywood’s rom-com, “Ek Tha Tiger,” and picking up Téa Obreht’s “Tiger’s Wife” for some leisure reading, I decided to visit a real tiger at Bronx Zoo but ended up going crazy (as usual) for the birds.

I am a birdwatcher in New York City, but like most people, I was anticipating the large animals when I went to the zoo. But the lions, bears, and tigers (oh my!) were snoozing in the summer heat. The tigers were sprawled on their backs; the lions kept distant on a faint plateau above their natural deer-ish prey, grazing unmolested; and the polar bear, white and iconic, dozed with out-flung limbs on the rocky shore near his artificial pool. He remained stubbornly deaf to the human, zoo-going horde screaming and gesticulating wildly beyond his enclosure. It was if we were the ones trying to impress him and not the other way around.

But why should we be impressed?

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