Thursday, May 28, 2015

For My Feathered Friends

We have a flock of mourning doves
living in our yard. Here, they are gobbling some seed.

While all the trilling birdsong , throat by throat,
sings the morning into waking, note by note,
bold robin red and mourning dove doth coo,
and I will share their skysong here with you.

In meadow fair and forest glen of green,
the songs of many can be heard, not seen.
Within the trees, the hidden forest lives,
us grateful, for the melodies they give.

A scientist came to the living woods one day
to see what sounds the loggers took away,
set out his recording box, before and aft.
The loggers thought him daft; they laughed 
              and laughed.

Before the felling of the greenly trees,
enough song was heard to bring him to his knees.
But, sadly, truck after truck, day after day, 
with the trees, all the birdsong, too, had flown away.

The feathered flocks, the doves and jays, are gone.
Where birdsong swelled, a silence now lives on.
How can we fit? Our actions dont belong.
How can we live, if we lose all the song?

How to bring back all that we love, and soon,
when we are the ones so wholly out of tune?
Bring back, bring back, those stands of ancient pine.
Bring back the songs, those feathered friends 
              of mine.

I just watched one of the Ted Talks, Voices of the Natural World by Bernie Krause, which I discovered after reading a post by Hannah Gosselin. Bernie explains that "Every wild habitat produces its own unique soundscape," an ecology impacted by human activity and global warming. He recorded the amount of birdsong, before and after a logging company did selective logging, (not even clearcutting!). The logging company had promised no damage to the environment.

Bernie recorded a high level of birdsong before the cut, and nearly no birdsong at all even fifteen years after the logging had occurred. The recording caught a lonely woodpecker, and not much else.  That is just one small meadow. Think of what is happening globally. 

This sort of thing chills me, that greed is running so insanely  rampant, while endangering the survival of all species - including our own. We are a strange breed, the only ones who destroy our own habitat, (along with that of every other creature.)


  1. This poem is itself a song. I hear the birds throughout. And I resonate with this:
    "How can we fit? Our actions dont belong.
    How can we live, if we lose all the song?"

  2. Everywhere in the world it is the same story. But this destruction is ultimately our own (mankind's) destruction. Sooner or later we will have to face the nature's wrath.

  3. Those lost sounds are a prophecy that most ignore!

    I like the style of this piece...more prosy.

  4. So sad really. If only we could bring them back.

  5. mi amiga, this pierces my heart my soul. this was wonderfully penned and well said. i wrote about this silence when once i wrote about the battles fought during war. the towns and cities once full of verve from human voices and birds in the air but once the bombs did drop silence was the demoni consequence.

    gracias mi amiga

  6. The one silver lining I see here is that the TED talk inspired this beautiful poem. Sadly words of grief cannot replace the birdsong. Thank you though, for releasing your words and letting us grieve with you Sherry.


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!