In search of story

March 18.23: Coping, but barely


Bold like Ozymandias

declaiming to all nations,

my species speaks in Latin

and names the constellations!

Poecile atricapillus

regarded me with disdain

atop Syringa vulgaris,

twittering this refrain:

Pfui, pfui, pfui!

(the fire was in his eye)

I can balance on a bud —

I’d like to see you try!


11 thoughts on “March 18.23: Coping, but barely

  1. Maureen, the black capped chickadee on the budding lilac is way more agile than me! And yes, I had to look these up! Lol! Your photo makes a bold statement that spring has almost sprung. Thanks for the reminder. It’s quite cold here and tomorrow morning will ‘feel like’ the teens!

    • It isn’t exactly warm here, and I think that when this little bird flew off he was going for a winter coat. It’s snowing AGAIN this morning. The wind has been nasty cold. But this old lilac is determined to have leaves. I watch it nervously. As for agility, no kidding! We should be so nimble!

  2. I, too, had to hit the dictionary, but we love seeing Black-capped Chickadees around here, and I’m always impressed with the way birds can hang onto a branch that barely supports their weight at the tippy top of a tree.

    This was fun. Our lilacs are so ready to bust out for a new season of green and pastels, but right now any birds that are here are here for the birdseed we spread on the ground. It’s cold, and it feels colder than it is.

    • Don’t think that I wouldn’t have had to consult the dictionary too! I’ve known gardeners who speak in tongues, but I’m not one. With these, I had to hear how to pronounce them so I could have some notion of how they would fit into a line. That was hilarious! I am eager to see your white lilac again; that is such a beauty!

      • Our previous neighbors (departed) met us at the fence one day. The husband, a Master Gardener rattled off the complete Latin name for a flower near the fence. His wife looked at me and said. “Some people call them buttercups.”

        That’s interesting, to listen to the words so they fit a poem. I wouldn’t have thought to do that.

      • Mrs. Master Gardener spoke my language! As for listening to words, I think you probably do it without being aware: many of your best snarks work because of their sound. It also explains why you so often implant endless loops of songs in my head.

      • Hahaha – sorry about that.

  3. Learning experience here because I got to look up a word. 🙂 The mention of Latin, which I avoided at all costs in high school, always makes me smile because I sure could use it with plant names in my senior years.

    • I had a great time with this, looking up the Latin names and listening to the pronunciations. I’ll take “chickadee” any day over that tongue-twister. One of my best high school memories is the look on our Latin teacher’s face when a bunch of us came up with what must have been a highly creative translation of Virgil. I’m surprised she didn’t retire that very day. But even Virgil doesn’t help me with plant and animal names; I can’t keep them in my head at all!

  4. The last section is a triumph. I often wish I had your skill at transcribing sounds. Balance on a bud – that’s a thought. Having been ‘social’ for half the day, I think I know something of that. (We have parted company with our internet provider which is why I am so quiet online. I have worked out I can download a few posts at the nearby coffee shop to read/reply later.)

    • I’m so glad to know that you’ve “been quiet” only because of parting company with the provider; I have been a bit concerned that you’d been hit with some of the horrible weather that has caused so much loss across the country. That little bird was quite impertinent, I thought, in such a deliberate performance.

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