I Pity the Poor Old Bird

I pity the poor old bird
who didn’t value the strength of the tree
that sheltered her from the storms,

and instead spent her nights
lamenting over another
tree that would not bend
to cherish her near so well.

I pity the poor old bird
who knows nothing
other than playing
at being a harpy,

befouling every space
unlucky enough to know her presence.

It is clear she envies
the kestrel and her mate,
lovingly paired and partnered,

with no wingbeat taken for granted—

the kestrel who knows the joy
of the welcoming blue sky,
the stars, and rising sun,

who has flown with true companions
that were only taken from her by death,
and not driven away by spite.

I pity the poor old bird,
who when she finally falls
stiff and cold from her perch,

will fall
unmissed,
unloved,
and unremembered,

save for the worms
that will find plenty of room to burrow
in the cavity of her empty chest.

I hope those who hold you fondly in their mind have a true and clear image of you. 
I hope you are seen clearly for who you are.
May you never look into a mirror without seeing your true face.


Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Weekly Scribblings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Bird is the Word.

50 comments:

  1. Indeed, such as you describe are sad and much to be pitied. Long may the kestrel fly free without being unpleasantly impinged upon!

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  2. Kestrels are amazing birds, Rommy, and you are right about them mating for life and ‘no wingbeat taken for granted’. The ending of your poem, and of your poor old bird is tragic.

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    1. The tragedy is that it was all self inflicted. But a bitter and vicious heart has a way of isolating people.

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  3. I love the message of your beautiful poem. I think you and I were on the same page for this challenge.

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    1. Kind of looks like it. Funny in some ways. Sad that such folk seem to be ubiquitous.

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  4. "I pity the poor old bird,
    who when she finally falls
    stiff and cold from her perch,. . ." and here's another old bird. Twelve days ago I fell from my stance and broke my right foot's big toe. The orthopedic doctor has my foot in a boot for eight weeks, he has hopes that it will heal. So did the other doctors think that about my kneecap, rather they were hoping. Well think some more, neither healed, I can't get on my knees, and that's why I had to lay in the backyard dirt until Mrs. Jim came.
    But I do love your poem, not all the "old" are wise.
    And I have not hope that my toe will heal.
    ..

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    1. Here's hoping your toe will heal! Yes, unfortunately wisdom doesn't come to everyone in time. And people of all ages have the ability of being truly awful.

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  5. Replies
    1. Sometimes you just gotta go where the muse takes you.

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  6. I see hawks and buzzards, geese, ducks, turkeys, coots, gulls, pigeons, sparrows, jays, woodpeckers, ravens and crows, the rare condor and hear the occasional owl on my walks - but no kestrels. One can hope...

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    1. People think they are rarer than they are. They're just so much smaller than people expect them to be.

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  7. I know people like the poor old bird...

    Kestrels are global. There were a pair in DC when my husband was ill there. He used to watch them out the window of his hospital room.

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    1. It's kind of cool how wide spread they are! And adaptable.

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  8. Wow❣️Good one๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘I’ve known some of those๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ™

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    1. Yeah. But there's something to be said for getting to the moment when they finally reveal themselves for what they are, and you know you 100% can cut them loose from your life.

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  9. Wow, that turned out pretty intense. I do identify with the jealousy / envy in the beginning.

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    1. Part of me was a little surprised at the intensity that came through this piece.

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  10. That old bird as you put is definitely to be pitied. That poem elicited a myriad of feelings, from admiration for the kestrel to a heavy heart for the old bird who did not learn how to live

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    1. I am glad that so I was able to get all those emotions across in this piece.

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  11. It's a sad existence without gratitude.

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  12. Wild animals including birds are always on the lookout for enemies. Mind you humans are still the the worst predator who often destroy some creatures for no reason whatsoever.

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    1. Humans can be rather random in their aggression, very true.

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  13. i liked the message in the poem.
    i sensed frustration and anger, but it's always good to let it out in a poem.

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  14. A good lesson in appreciating what you already have. Thanks!

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    1. Gratitude often does make things much better.

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  15. Ow wow. What a perfect life lesson for (many) to learn. Well written!

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  16. I agree with dsnak1, "frustration and anger" scream out of every line. Their voices are nearly as lough as the sense disappointment and, in a way, resignation. There is little one can do for such a bird... They seem to rot while alive and that sort of festering tends to want to consume everything it touches. Best pitted from afar, while hoping that they can see (and embrace) a better way of being before the maggots come to claim their place in the oozing whole that passes for their hearts.

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    1. Pity from afar is the only solution sometimes. It would be too hard hearted not to feel some pity, but it'd be foolishness to want to be anywhere near that bird.

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  17. Replies
    1. That's a very good description of a kestrel

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  18. So many lessons to learn from this amazing poem! Self indulgence is what seems to be eating a cancer into us these days. I marvel at how many use instagram for "selfies"... I mean truly, how boring.

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    1. Selfies are far from the worst sin of social media. That distinction goes to the sort of person I described on my Instagram post -- the type of person who always seems to show up in the comments section, whether it's a cute YouTube video about puppies, an article about a new business opening up, or even an obituary.

      You know, the kind that seems to get off on showing the casual onlooker that no matter how bad said onlooker thought people could be, that the internet is filled with new lows.

      I'll take boring over being a vicious hypocrite any day of the week.

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  19. Unfortunately birds are always prone to those intense character defects

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  20. "with no wingbeat taken for granted—"

    Great line in this wonderful poem, Rommy. I know nothing about kestrels, but would love to learn.

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    1. They're really widely distributed across the world. Tiny little birds of prey, but pretty effective hunters.

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  21. A lot of life lessons in your write Rommy! This is fantastic!!
    (Please, if you try the violet syrup, let me know how it tastes! Would love to know!) Big Hugs!

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  22. This poetry intrigued me and I came back to read it again. It sounds very personal to me. As if it might be written from/for the author's own life. Again, I say well written and lessons to be withdrawn from the ink.

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