In front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

National Poetry Month: April 22, 2015

Prompt: Today is Earth Day, so I would like to challenge you to write a “pastoral” poem. Traditionally, pastoral poems involved various shepherdesses and shepherds talking about love and fields, but yours can really just be a poem that engages with nature. One great way of going about this is simply to take a look outside your window, or take a walk around a local park. What’s happening in the yard and the trees? What’s blooming and what’s taking flight?

Day 22:

Suburban Aviary

Bird poop on the back stoop means
the doves are back loving and laying,
so I look to find their twiggy nest
peeking from the eaves,
safe from the tabby cat
who uses our fence for her highway,
far from the raccoons who sleep
in the oak tree next door,
those raccoons who once visited us
while we sat outside eating sandwiches,
watching with their little flashlight eyes.
Now that I think about it
I haven’t heard much cooing
in the early morning lately.
Maybe this means the doves
are exhausted new parents.
All the birds are pretty quiet right now,
the juncos, sparrows and chickadees
must be building and nesting,
which makes the bluebird
I saw twice last week
an even more astonishing sight,
bright with rust collar and buff belly,
a true bluebird of happiness
because seeing him hop in the grass
that is exactly what I felt.


  1. Now, that's brave to open up a poem with the line "Bird poop on the back stoop." I loved thinking of the raccoons with "their little flashlight eyes." That's exactly what they are like. Nicely done, bringing nature into this obviously suburban/urban setting - very fun.

  2. I echo Michelle--brave, and lovely, and it works, best of all. Enjoyed this poem immensely, and your questions: What's blooming, what's taking flight? You, for one, in poem!

  3. M & T -- When it came to me, I couldn't resist it!