Birdsong in Four Parts

I don’t know the name of that bird that speaks in repeated quatrain-

AABC again and again: four times, rest, then four times more.

Nor do I know the “whom-to” or the “where-when” of its soft low trill.

But there- over there to the west- is another responding in the

same verse, same tune,

and now another, to the east

and these two replies (plot them on graph paper if you must)

begin to reveal the “why:”

procreation?

discovery of food?

particular dried dried grasses of the correct nesting density and length?

or simply (and I kind of hope this is so)

companionship?

Do quatrain-speaking birds have dactyls they bird-giggle over?

Double dactyls that causes bird-guffaws?

Or cinquains they sing in quiet celebration?

Anything other than noting the four note melody is, of course,

mere human-bent conjecture;

worse, it is my mere personally-bent conjecture..

I would like to know on

intellectual, investigatory, inquistive

levels, what the quatrains mean.

But not-knowing is important, too:

In ignorance I have no opportunity to

judge myself separate

from the birdsong.

I can only- in Mystery- accept the calling out

as a prelude, or an echo

of my own..

4/17/10

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One thought on “Birdsong in Four Parts

  1. Oh My .. We have heard the same bird songs and wondered and wondered at the origin, meaning, cadence … What a glorious gift you have given in this poem … Yes, ‘only in mystery’ … As an old man in Marfa said to me when talking about the Marfa Lights, “It is just a mystery .. I let it be that.” Thank you David, for who and what and how you are … Your words of poetry take us beyond words …
    Carol

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