Seasons are Birds

Lined up along the road, around the pond
Black with golden heads, beady-eyed curious
Gregarious and brave, sun’s yearly bond
Brings them here in springtime’s furious rush.
Small brothers, shiny black and red, take flight
Together from the willows or sing their
Rusty-spring song from lonely fenceposts, write
Love songs in the sky, sonnets in the air.
Partnered up, squawking geese, chase their rivals
Down the road. There is no way around it;
All beauty hides a fight for survival.
Fox tracks in spring snow, a raptor’s silent lift.
Eggshells on the road, strewn feathers, remind
me to savor my own moment in time.


This sonnet is a VERY casually constructed Shakespearean sonnet. You can learn more about the form here.

12 thoughts on “Seasons are Birds

  1. Oh geez, Martha. All was well with me until….ending with the cycle of nature. As soon as I saw this prompt, I couldn’t wait to see what you would write.

    • I know — among the treasures I’ve gotten particularly from the Refuge because it’s NOT a place where a person will be overstimulated it’s this understanding. But maybe I’m just ready to “hear” it, I don’t know. When I was running up and down hills I was going too fast to see or maybe too much other stuff was going on. BUT the thing is I love all those animals even though I know they kill and eat each other. They aren’t malicious or wasteful, just wise in a way we people seem to have lost. If we understood what they understand, no one would take an assault rifle into a nightclub and shoot people.

      • I did like this sonnet, though. You don’t want to sit with me watching a nature show. I’m blasting the photographer, “But you could have stopped that killing!” Of course, he couldn’t.

        • I can’t watch those nature shows. I had the idea at the beginning of Covid that they would be good to watch but they are not. Partly, I think, because they’re edited in such a way that the “dark side” of nature is emphasized or sensationalized. Animals will try to escape the predator; they’re not excited by the struggle. SEX is where the exciting struggles are in their world.

          I quit watching them after seeing a mama Moose abandon her yearling to a river in flood. She had no choice. We don’t know what she might have felt. I’ve seen animals fight to protect their young when they had a chance of prevailing. She didn’t have that chance — what was she going to do? Dive under the rapids and bring him up with her bare hands? She couldn’t. I do know that she knew that — as a breeding cow — she had a responsibility to continue living. The documentary filmmakers/producers didn’t address that at all; they spun it so it looked as if everything was “kill or be killed” without concerning themselves or their film with WHY. Most of them were like that.

          If humans understood that level of commitment to the well-being of our species we would be very different. We wouldn’t be overpopulated; climate change wouldn’t have happened; we wouldn’t fight wars. I think most of the nature docs I’ve seen miss the point AND have led to the emergence of “tourons” (moronic tourists) who go stand too close to bison, elk, etc.

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