Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Grackle Ghazal

I stroll the streets and dodge mangy grackles,
fluttering birds in trees, those angry grackles.

Black feet and dark beaks snap at my sandwich—
I’m surrounded by the grabby grackles!

I sit a bench and study pawns and queens
‘til “checkmate’s” called by the cagey grackles.

At dinner parties, I near drop my drink
shocked by the sins of the feisty grackles.

I hang for hours on back porches, strumming
old guitars, swapping lies with folksy grackles.

At night, I roost in city trees and sing
croaking wild songs, toasting jolly grackles.

This is in response to Big Tent’s prompt about alliteration. There’s some in there, but the process led to a ghazal and some grackles.

Go to the Big Tent to see what others came up with.

For those who may not know, grackles are, like blackbirds, members of the icterid family. Here in central Texas, we see two species: the common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) and the great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus).

This post was included in I and the Bird #142 hosted at Birds O’ The Morning.


  1. I love it! The ghazal is a wonderful poetic form and you use it really well here. The grackles have such character!

    • Thanks, Juliet. I love writing ghazals and it seemed a great way to use the sound of grackle, which I also love.

  2. Yes… I agree! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fun poem!


  3. ‘Grackal’ is such a great word! I like how musically you use it.

  4. Great word that, grackles. I see them as greedy herring gulls. A bit like the Cornish word Grockles, meaning tourists or trippers. I’ve yet to try and write a Ghazal, but now I want to!

    • I’ve never heard “grockle” but it’s a good association with these birds, which are actually a species related to blackbirds.

  5. I am jealous! The ghazal is a hurdle I have been circling for some years. I have yet to leap; I suspect once I have written my first I’ll wonder what all the fuss in my brain has been about. AND you got to use grackles. I love it.

    • Thanks, Margo. I wrote my first one back in April and it was such a joy, I’ve done a few since. I hope you’ll give it a go.

      • I plan to, James. It seems simple enough but my brain refuses to comply when I try and come up with a topic. I did the same thing with pantoums and now I love writing those, but there at least I had something to start with.

  6. James, love the ghazal form and how you used it with the word
    “grackle”. A delightful read for my morning.

  7. Snap, pop, grackle! Terrific Ghazal…

  8. As you may recall, I am not a fan of Grackles. Howsomever, after reading this fine literary ode to said Birds, I may reconsider.

    I really like this, James. Amazing piece of writing here.

    • Thanks, Mark. I always think of you when I post these grackle poems, and I’m glad they don’t chase you off 🙂

  9. My fave? The narrator goes to roost & toasts those amazing grackles!

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