For The Birds


I’m enchanted with my reoccurring day dream that birds taught us language. In this dream, they inspired us to sing before we could talk. Captivated by the birds varied melodies, we became emboldened to follow their led. At first startled and then delighted when we found our voices rising up to the sky to match their notes.

Thus, we went from grunts, grrrs, grumblings to recreating the simple

caw of the crow

chirp of the chickadee

twitter of the wren

hoot of the owl.

 Sounds that we too could make. We were encouraged, mystified, enraptured. The birds’ lyricism stirred us with desire to imitate their beauty even further. To sing as they sing with a musical voice like the Yellow-eyed Junco – chit chit chit weedle weedle che che che. Or the rapid song of the Yellow Warbler – sweet sweet sweet, I’m so sweet.

We then took their simple songs and turned them into our own full throated melodic expressions. Slowly these became woven together into phrases for which we developed meanings.

Ka, ka, who, che, became ‘beware of the alligator’

Na, ni, chit, cha, became ‘sweet berries by the stream’

Twee, twee, sweet, deee-de, became ‘hey baby, what are you doing tonight?’

Pit, pree, weedle, became ‘danger stay close’

And so it went, in my mind’s fanciful eye, that these strung together imitations got broken down into words. Thereby forming an even more complex way to communicate. Words that grew in depth and meaning. Words that can transport us from where we are at the present moment to other places, other times, other realities. Words that evoke joy, sorrow, compassion, hatred, fear, love, the entire gamut of human emotions. Words that provide our lives with depth and richness of language. Words that we take for such granted.

Yet even with the fecundity of language our words can carry us only so far. It is within the music, the melody, that remains under those words, once only notes, which gives our human hearts true flight. Melodies that lift us to the heavens and beyond. Melodies forever and always inspired by the birds. 

Table for Two in Taos


The check is on the table, paid, the way is clear for departure. The glasses are empty. The Irish singer/songwriter has stopped playing. It’s break time. 

She fills the chair. Her blond short hair and red jacket are all of her that I can see. He is sitting across from her at the table for two. He is thin with an angular face. Dirty brown hair worn Beatle’s style, mopish, parted to the side but unlike the Fab Four it is plastered flat against his head. His voice is loud in stark contrast to his companion’s that can not be heard at all. He chats amicably to a young woman that has come to the table to say hello. As she departs, the couple begin their conversation again.

The soft voiced woman has asked something of him that he clearly doesn’t like. His volume mounts. “You’re telling me how to do it.” He gets squirmy in his chair. She becomes even more still in hers. He says “You always have something to say about how I am!” His voice fills the restaurant growing even louder in his realization. She says something quietly in response. “You don’t accept me for who I am! I’m with a woman who doesn’t accept me for who I am. What am I doing here?” He pushes back his chair. Grabs his coat from the back of it. Stands up to say “I’m out of here!” and flees to the exit.

The woman sits stock still as though she has a bull’s eye in the middle of her red jacket. As if by not moving she won’t really be in her present situation. Her confusion, her humiliation, her grief float in the air around her. She remains frozen for a few more moments. Finally, she pushes back her chair to stand. Struggles a little to come to her feet. I look away quickly from her round late 60’s face. I don’t want her to know that I’ve intruded upon her pain. I don’t want her to know that I know that she has been dumped.

She moves to the door with an obvious limp. Following out what she imagines was her last chance at love. 

Fly By


The web is large.

It spans across two coconut trees.

Beautiful in it’s intricacy.

Concentric circles formed with a master’s touch.


Late afternoon light dancing on woven threads

Catching the movements of the creature within.

Golden yellow & black, 

Her (why are spiders always female?) legs are long,

Body big and strong.

She is working hard for her dinner.

An elegant leg or two stretching toward

A black bodied creature caught within.


A precarious wrestle for survival ensues.

She who must eat & he who does not want to be consumed.

If she is to dine, 

She must tangle this delectable morsel 

Further within her sticky lace.


I turn my head away. 

Certain that she has gained control.

When from the corner of my eye

I see her fly by.

Her dinner of black caviar

Is taking HER for a ride.

Together they ascend with lightening speed

Up into the coconut trees.


The dance of predator & prey has flipped

Around today.