The sun rose this morning,
as if the day were not in any
way out of the ordinary, day
number far too large to count
for those with finite capacity.
The birds begin, their harmonious
cacophony, though they think
it their lauds, matins of reflection
burned off with the dew under
the gentle glare of a morning sun.
They watch us begin to stir,
imagine how it must be to live
cocooned in oddly symmetrical
boxes, venturing out but retreating
as though the sky was to be feared.
They do not ask how we could
so easily, remorselessly, lay waste
to our shared home, for they
have moved past mourning,
as we remain mired still in denial.
First appeared in The Poet: A New World, Autumn 2020
ones and twos
the cacophony grows
takes on a joyousness
as they ebb and flow;
the food disappears
draws you in
and you want
only to circulate
the scheduled end
and hours later
the last slips away
and the space
what went before.
They roll in, one after the next,
after the next, gaps that appear
in their rank are soon enough filled.
By night you mark them
by their red lights, lemmings
with no cliff in sight, so they sit
one alongside the next in the queue,
disgorging their chattering, smiling contents
into the vast building, and wait
the prescribed period of time until
they swallow up their contents again,
far lighter in wallet, and leaving
the cacophony of the casino floor behind,
withdraw into the night.
The dawn failed to appear this morning.
There was a slight lightening of the sky,
more a change of grayscale shade
that a shift in time-honored by the sun.
The crows seemed to notice, why else
would they stay silent, so unlike
most days when the first rays of sun
were the call to take up the cacophony chorus.
Even the squirrels noticed, and hid in the trees,
knowing this was not a normal day,
but soon emerged when the siren’s call
of nuts outweighed their fear.
We trod on into the park, picking
our way through the piled snow,
cursing winters cruel approach, our path
lit by our fading memory of summer.
The crows were at it in the park today,
unable, it seemed, to agree on anything
and unwilling to let any other have the last word.
I asked them to stop, and that bought
all of fifteen seconds of peace before one
decided the debate needed to go on.
It was a cacophony hard on the ears,
and I wondered if the person who decided
that crows in groups were a murder
had ever stopped to listen, for to me
any group of crows is a cacophony.
As I thought this a small gathering
of wrens took up their autumn song,
and in the face of that sweet,
trilling chorus even the crows fell silent.