Category Archives: Nature

The Cattle Egret and Other Animals in the City at qarrtsiluni

I don’t know what it is about long-legged waders that inspires me to write odd haibun, but here’s “The Cattle Egret” appearing in the ‘Animals in the City’ issue of qarrtsiluni.

Even cooler is sharing the day with Deb Scott and her beautiful work, and be sure to check out this one by Joseph Harker. Hell, just read the whole issue.

If you like egret haibun thing, I had another one published in qarrtsiluni back in 2011 and there’s one here too.

Thanks, Sherry and David for including this.

What Is a Vulture?

I and the Bird is up with an issue devoted to vultures:

The Cherokee nation called them “Peace Eagles” owing to the fact that they never killed a living thing – and also that they tended to show up in numbers after battles when peace treaties were being signed, though admittedly that may have been for a slightly more macabre reason. In any case, our hang-ups with vultures clearly stem from our own issues rather than any inherently bizarre trait of the species themselves.

It’s a great issue full of links to all kinds of vulture photos and posts including my video “While Sitting in Church,” which is based on one of the Birds Nobody Loves poems. Go pay a visit and learn more about our fascinating carrion-eating friends.

Greyhound Joey vs. the Grackle

Three bites taken on the run, two soggy feathers
float from his mouth, no sign left of any bird.

I call animal emergency:
Yuck, but your dog will be fine.
It’s what he’s made to do.

I call another vet just to be sure.
First, Ewww. But I am told the same.

It’s what he’s made to do.

My friends weigh in:
What’s one less grackle?
I hate those filthy birds.
Thank goodness. Grackles are awful.

Now, each morning I fill the feeders
as I’ve always done, and Joey follows
as he always has, but something’s new:

in the way he watches me pour the seed,
he admires how the trapper baits his traps.

///

This is from my poetry collection, Birds Nobody Loves, and was first published along with “North through Fog” in the February 2011 edition of The Houston Literary Review, which has, alas, disappeared from the ‘net without a trace.

It’s one of those poems that, unfortunately for the grackle, qualifies as nonfiction.

Birds Nobody Loves is on sale (15% off) through the holidays on Amazon and through my e-store and could make a great gift for the poetry or bird lover on your shopping list.

And, if you’ve already purchased a copy now or earlier, my sincerest thanks.