Stories From California

What The Bird Knows, - del Rey, CA

I was lucky. When the corona virus restrictions started in California, I was staying in a secluded writing shed close to Malibu working on a 3 hour segment about bestselling writer Cornelia Funke for Deutschlandradio's, 'Die Lange Nacht'. I was in the middle of nature with almost no access to the internet, which turned out to be an even bigger blessing than I initially thought it would be. 

Coming back to my home office was a different story. I can not help but follow the news, scroll through Social Media feeds, keep way to busy instead of seavouring the moment to be still and wait for what needs to arise.

I do stare out of the window quite a lot though when I sit at my desk and try to make sense of it all. I am still working on the 'making sense' part, but staring out of the window at least made me write a new poem. Here it is:

WHAT THE BIRD KNOWS

I wonder what the bird knows/The red chested finch/A cheerful troubadour

Jumping from branch to branch/In the tree with purple flowers/That almost died ten years ago

Does the red chested finch miss the humming chant to its a capella song/The constant buzz of nonstop traffic

Does the air drift lighter through its feathers/Is it easier for the finch to breathe

Does the red chested finch feel toxic droplets/Is rain heavier on its wings

Is uncertainty and aroma it can smell/Is compassion a scent it picks up with fluffy dandelion seeds

 

I wonder what the wild dog knows/The long legged coyote/A solitary traveler

Roaming the neighborhood at night/On streets of black asphalt/With cracks, holes and haphazard patches

Does the long legged coyote miss the intruders on its path/Hikers in parks and mountain ranges

Does it prowl empty shopping malls/Is it easier for the coyote to find sleep in its den

 

Does the long legged coyote feel lethal perspiration/Is fog denser on its fur

Is fear an aroma it can smell/Is love a scent it picks up with rotten lemons from back yards

 

I wonder what the whale knows/The big finned humpback/A mother with its young

Breaching in front of empty beaches/From underwater canyons/Filled with mangrove forests and eternal calm

Does the big finned humpback miss the boats coming out/To watch it leap, twist, fall and splash

Does the wave it breaks through have more power/Is it easier for the whale to moan its song

 

Does the big finned humpback glide through poisoned water/Is kelp it swims in stained with parasites

Is worry an aroma it can smell/Is courage a scent it picks up with krill from the ocean's face

 

The red chested finch collects twigs for its nest/From the tree with purple flowers/In front of my window

It stops. It turns its head. It looks at me.

I wonder

Does the red chested finch wonder what I know

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