Monday, 12 July 2010

Tuesday Poem - 'bio notes for a bird'



bio notes for a bird

The size of a micro chip, a bird’s brain 
is intricate and reliable.


Studies have proved 
a parrot to be the most intelligent


with an enviable ability 
to get itself out of trouble. 


My own experience 
in the middle of the afternoon, 


or rain, is that a bird sings 
without pretence and always knows 


where it is going
and where it will land next.


Habit and instinct are inseperable
to a bird capable of serious navigation.


Unlike me, a bird does not wonder
if one day it will simply topple,


or not, into some easy death
with no memory of menace.


When a bird sees a cat, as quick as a flash 
it faces its own mortality


with alarm and a certain disdain.


Kay McKenzie Cooke


This is a poem I wrote some years ago. I re-discovered it on an old computer - along with a whole stash of poems I'd totally forgotten I'd written. Talk about careless.


(P.S. I have no idea why the stanzas have come out double-spaced, and it's too late on a Monday night to try and fix). 


Click here for more poems. 

10 comments:

lillyanne said...

I love this poem! Particularly the clarity of the imagery's development, and the bit about habit and instinct being inseparable. Thanks for it.
Belinda

Tim Jones said...

If all the rediscovered poems are as good as this one, Kay, you might have a fourth collection on your hands sooner than you think! This poem makes me think of those kea in the Gore Aviary: intelligent birds, discouraged (well, I would be anyway) by a problem they haven't yet been able to solve.

AJ Ponder said...

Very nice, and I love the way you always find a picture to go with the words. As for the double stanza, I think that actually came out very well.

Cheers, the last line in particular was fab!

Penelope said...

Nice, Kay. I, too, admire the last line, and the bird on the post which neither knows nor cares that it's been 'immortalised' here.

Helen Lowe said...

I like both the couplet form and the subject matter of the poem, as one who enjoys the company of many small birds in my garden.

January said...

Just lovely, especially the last line.

Kay McKenzie Cooke said...

lillyanne - Thanks for that. I love to try and think about what birds think about ...

Tim - AH yes, those kea ... haunting sound and memories. Thanks for kind comments - I am still mired a-deep in 3rd collection - 4th a wee way off (yet, I can sense its shadowy appearance even so!)

AJ - Thank you. The photo of the sparrow was one I took 3 or so years ago at my brother's farm in Beaumont - a district tagged to be drowned under a proposed hydro dam scheme ... :(

Pen - Thanks. It is my own photo, but nabbed by someone else advertising tensile fence-wire! You gotta laugh.

Helen - Thanks. I am a fan of garden birds too.

January - Thank you! That last line was the only thing I changed from the original version - the change seems to have worked, so that's good.

twitches said...

"Unlike me, a bird does not wonder if one day it will simply topple,"
this felt, for me, like heart of the poem. I really like it.

Kay McKenzie Cooke said...

twitches!!! - You're back! or was it me that went away? Whatever, it's great to see you again. And thanks for comment - I think you're right.

Crafty Green Poet said...

wow, fancy finding a poem this good tucked away and forgotten! Maybe if I look really carefully I'll find a stash myself!

Harbour

Harbour
'how this all harbours light'