Feb 12, 2023Liked by Bill Davison

Thanks for the morning bird meditation. Neruda wrote so many great poems about birds . . . some to specific birds and some about birdwatching in general. You probably already know them all, but here's one:


Let's look for birds!

The tall iron branches

in the forest,

The dense

fertility on the ground.

The world

is wet.

A dewdrop or raindrop


a diminutive star

among the leaves.

The morning time

mother earth

is cool.

The air

is like a river

which shakes

the silence.

It smells of rosemary,

of space

and roots.


a crazy song.

It's a bird.


out of its throat

smaller than a finger

can there fall the waters

of its song?

Luminous ease!




of music

in the leaves.

Sacred conversations!

Clean and fresh washed

is this

day resounding

like a green dulcimer.

I bury

my shoes

in the mud,

jump over rivulets.

A thorn

bites me and a gust

of air like a crystal


splits up inside my chest.


are the birds?

Maybe it was


rustling in the foliage

or that fleeting pellet

of brown velvet

or that displaced

perfume? That

leaf that let loose cinnamon smell

- was that a bird? That dust

from an irritated magnolia

or that fruit

which fell with a thump -

was that a flight?

Oh, invisible little


birds of the devil

with their ringing

with their useless feathers.

I only want

to caress them,

to see them resplendent.

I don't want

to see under glass

the embalmed lightning.

I want to see them living.

I want to touch their gloves

of real hide,

which they never forget in

the branches

and to converse with


sitting on my shoulders

although they may leave

me like certain statues

undeservedly whitewashed.


You can't touch them.

You can hear them

like a heavenly

rustle or movement.

They converse

with precision.

They repeat

their observations.

They brag

of how much they do.

They comment

on everything that exists.

They learn

certain sciences

like hydrography.

and by a sure science

they know

where there are harvests

of grain

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You are a brave soul, Bill, in adding your prose in proximity to that lovely Neruda poem. But you pulled it off. Congrats!

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