Every spring the birds court their mates
and through the summer raise their young.
In autumn, they fly thousands of miles south.
In winter, the bare-limbed trees reveal the hidden nests
that they built in the spring.
Many lives lived season to season,
while I live only one through the years.
On the branch, a snap, a creak
and the pinches of a warbler’s beak.
One bug, two bugs, all caught quick
from bark to twig and foliage mixed.
His hunger demands in all its might
to be sated before the southern flight;
Winter comes, a long cold night.
great heron fishing at twilight
his plumage a shadow
looking for smaller shades
the nights still hold midday’s breath
but on deceptive winds, the winged flee
heralding the approaching cold
a scraggly titmouse
searches at sunset
six night herons
on the same tree
a last cove
on an overcast dawn
a robin still
bursts with song
There amid the branches, a small bird alights,
deep under the cover of a mild summer night.
When all other swains are abed upon the hour,
the nightingale enchants with beguiling, gentle power.
Though the crickets play swiftly, their mournful violins,
I listen only to his trills and soaring, playful whims;
For he serenades me shyly, like a lover behind a door,
weaving the spell of an eternal, clandestine amor.
sing sweetly bird
and herald the spring
careless of those ears
that hear you