New Life of Autumn
Two Poems of Small Birds
A new world has arrived with the coming of rain. New winged visitors of various sorts have arrived also, and many birds that stayed quietly through the summer are now also coming out to see the world. Among them is the jet-black phainopepla, a lovely little crested bird of the flycatcher family. This sonnet describes one bird in particular—one which loves to sit on a high perch outside my window.
The Bird and the View
At the very top of the mesquite,
A cluster of dead branches curves and tangles;
All the lower branches droop and dangle
Thickets of green leaflets, lace and pleat.
But where the barren branches make a seat,
A phainopepla–glossy sable–spangles
Up against the sky, a black triangle
Poised athwart the autumn blue, all neat
With pointed crest atop a silhouette
Of simple wedge in black with folded wings,
Broad breast, and tail that’s barely seen. The wet
Of freshly fallen rain’s still there; the small bird clings
To his high perch to view the new world yet
Half-born from rain: the world where autumn springs.
This haiku also celebrates the rather unusual nature of autumn here in the desert.
scarlet salvia flowers
small green hummingbird
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