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Poems | Poems | Oh, the birds...

Oh, the birds...

Oh, the birds have returned
to our neighbourhood
after a long winter,
coldest one on record
for sixty years.

The raucous, cheeky song
of the bright cardinal
whistles from the tops of trees;
a red flash as he flies
from one yard to another.

Sparrows twitter and cheep
as they come and go,
rebuilding their nest
in the space between the eaves,
getting ready to hatch offspring.

Now they fluff their feathers
to keep warm, appear
twice their normal size;
mate under the cover
of the front porch,
a dance of wings and chatter,
part of their seasonal celebration.

Grackles have arrived
filling the apple tree
for a brief time
large and noisy birds
here, then on their way again.

Soon the yellow finches
will fly over the flowers,
hummingbirds will hover
at the next-door feeders,
and, at 5 p.m., butterflies
will land on my pink dress;
the sparkle of fireflies
on a hot summer night.
And, sometimes, the flash of blue
as a jay flies by,
that glorious, marvelous
bit of sky come down
to live at eye-level—
while the gentle sigh
of the mourning dove
coos and calls
from the tree turned green.

Those first few days
of soft, barely-there colour
before the leaves opened—
so much promise
in that almost-hue—
come to full potential
when the turtle doves sing.

The ever-cheerful robin
replaces winter chickadees
as the common bird
most easily identified.
Red-winged blackbirds,
elegant and dapper,
display a fanfare of scarlet
as they take flight.

Down the street, seagulls
scavenge at the corner store
dumpster, land-locked but bold.
Pigeons land on balconies,
not frightened by the plastic owl
placed there to discourage
their nesting and mewing.

The trickster crow hops here
and there, black as midnight;
a murder of crows gathered
in the yard, a friend says,
the day they brought her home,
newly born, omen of her life
to unfold in the decades to come.

Oh, the birds fall
from the sky, they fly
and dive and peck and sing
and sleep among the branches;
bird-song starts in pre-dawn
full throttle by waking time.

They fly by mistake
into plate glass doors,
crash against the windows
of skyscrapers downtown,
bless our avenues
and boulevards and streets
and homes and balconies,
parks, yards, gardens
with colours, song and soul.

Oh, the birds.…


Copyright by Carolyn Zonailo:, 2009 | Poems | Oh, the birds...
Wave Goddess
The Wave Goddess
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Zonailo attended ...
CZ is a visionary poet who writes with compassion and careful detail about the world she lives in.
GoddessThe Goddess in the Garden combines mystical insight and sensual language to evoke a timeless meadow where humans and deities play out eternal passions.
She draws on her study of mythology, astrology, and Jungian psychology, for a seemingly inexhaustible source of imagery.
There is a quality in her work which makes all her poems hers, but Zonailo’s style does differ. Compendium is a collection of short, lyrical poetry; Zone 5 of prose. Each book is an extension of her poetic exploration and a separate expression.
Over the years of sitting in Grant's Cafe or the Europa and talking poetry with Lewis Gretsinger, the questions have been asked: why write? what are you saying? what are your poetics?
Last Will and Testament
I give my soul to God.
I give my body to the earth.
I give my poems to posterity.
I give my spirit to tolerance.
I give my mind to the future.
Forthcoming Titles
The Land of Motionless ChildhoodThe Land of Motionless Childhood is a memoir of short stories by Carolyn Zonailo about growing up in Vancouver, and her Doukhobor heritage.
Photo Gallery
CZPictures of CZ from her 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
Literary Papers
Spanning the years 1955 to 2005, the Carolyn Zonailo Papers holds, as nearly as possible, a currently complete collection of Zonailo's extant literary papers.
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