Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Tag: grackles (page 1 of 3)

two grackles
wander the wet grass
between storms

grackles rise and fall
leaves in the wild slipstream
passing trucks

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.

4.28.12

baby bird
struggles for the sky
wheels crunch bone

Sometimes I wish I couldn’t capture these “fully engaged moments” as Fiona puts it. Or that I could disengage. Or that I could have done something. Or that the driver was more engaged, though I doubt he even knew the bird was there.

The Backyard in Spring

Common grackle

The grackles returned as is their wont around the first of the month. They spread out this time of year thus I only have five or six come around so the mockingbirds and blue jays still get their shot at the suet feeders.

I haven’t been filling the platform feeder as regularly as in the past. Too many mammals coming around and with a little boy, I’m inclined to keep it that way for a while. So it’s just suet and finch feeders for the most part, which the mammals don’t go for. And, with fewer doves hogging the yard, I’m seeing more mockingbirds and cardinals come around.

There’s also a nest in the nest box by the porch. I saw a chickadee hanging around the other morning and the nest doesn’t look like a wren’s nest, which is what I usually find in the nest box, so I’m hoping we’ll see some chickadees unless I scared them away when I opened the box to check it unaware that there would actually be anything in it (it hasn’t been used since 2009).

I didn’t do Project FeederWatch this year, but the usual winter suspects came around: ruby-crowned kinglet, yellow-rumped warbler, chipping sparrow and orange-crowned warbler. No American goldfinches this year, but the lesser goldfinches are here as always.

So spring is springing and the birds are coming around singing and each day there seems to be something new to show my son as we stand out on the porch listening to birds, though his favorite activities are waving at the dogs and laughing at the wind chimes. Through him, I’m seeing new wonders everywhere. The world is chock full of them.

Two Poems at Curio Poetry

I’m honored to have two poems, “Winter Solstice” and “In the Time of the Automobile” (both from my upcoming collection Birds Nobody Loves–More to come stay tuned) in the inaugural issue of Curio Poetry alongside the work of several other fine poets. Thanks to editors Joseph Harker and Tessa Racht for starting this journal and including some of my work. Now, go check it out.

Protected: Say Grackle

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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.

Protected: Winter Solstice

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Great-tailed Grackle

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