The Nonsense of Birds

Gena St. David

Of the nonsense of birds
I have learned less than nothing.

They watch as I’m walking,
excitedly telling one another 
what time I left,
the contents of my lunch,
the number of cats at my window.

The songs they use
are not ones that I know;
their rhymes are all broken,
the chords unresolved.

“It’s not for me,”
I thunder,
“to resolve them for you!”

“That’s silly,”
they sing and unsing.

“Yesterday (you did)
you left six minutes sooner
and the red caterpillar was spared.”

As many of my friends and colleagues know, and find amusing, birdsong is difficult for me to tolerate. It has become somewhat of a spiritual exercise to mindfully listen to the cacophony of birds and allow it to find receptivity and spaciousness within me. This piece is a reflection of my enduring practice, which may be lifelong.

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