BY JOVE

In a Jovian moment
Luna paused her wanderings
and sat patiently above the trees
that stare down on the street.
You know they are speaking, want
very much to listen in
on their conversation, but
the birds are busy singing
their evening songs, and pay
neither moon nor planet
the attention that they are due.
Soon enough Luna recommences
her nightly trek across the sky,
while Jupiter stands still
a moment longer, enjoying
his starring role
in this nights heavenly show.

AS THE CROW FLIES

Leaving the fields
of the countryside
for the city, it is the birds
that tell you when
the invisible boundary
has been crossed.
There are usually signs
along the roads
bolted to steel poles
but the birds know better.
In the country, birds
sing long arias to the day,
to cornstalks making
the slow green to gold transition,
of a cat chasing a field mouse
among the fruit burdened trees
of the late-summer orchard.
Crossing to the urban world
their songs grow shorter
a kirtan with a squirrel
cut off by a car horn,
the briefest prayer
to the morning sun
a tentative greeting
to a dog or cat sleeping
on a sidewalk.
We would do well
to listen to birds.

NIGHT CHANGES

Night alters sound in ways
we can never precisely determine.
It is possible our hearing changes
with the flight of the sun, but
the moon scoffs at this premise.
A train rattling across the landscape
in the heat of day becomes
a musical instrument in the relative
silence of night, playing a melody
that insuates itself into dreams.
Birds raucous by morning
are sirens in the night, drawing you
from sleep onto the rocky shores
of sudden wakefulness, the darkness
a strangely unwelcome companion.
But it is the breathing
of a lover sleeping next to you
that caresses you, and you slide
deeper into Morpheus’ grasp.

PICNIC

A cloud envelopes the forest.  The trees believe it is they who pierce the cloud, impaling it, its essence drained onto their sagging limbs.  The shower passes and we walk the forest floor.  In a small clearing we lie down on a damp bed of needles.  They do not pierce our skin.  Four birds gather on a nearby limb.  They stare at us, we back at them.  I pull sandwiches from the picnic basket, a bottle of wine.  You open the small blanket.  The birds seem to find this interesting.  They chitter among themselves.  We only think we understand what they are saying.  The tomato is pressed tight against the mozzarella, basil leaves floating above.  Crumbs from the ciabatta fall on the blanket.  I am distracted by a motion on the edge of vision.  I turn and think it is a doe standing many yards off, in an odd stand of birch that seem lost, dwarfed by the surrounding pines.  Bits of roll fall on the ground.  The birds pause and take careful note of this.  They are certain when we carefully pack up, the last drops of wine spilled on the ground, our forgotten scraps will be their meal.  As we walk from the forest we watch as the trees release their grip.  We see the cloud slip away into a sunlit sky.