Wake Up And Listen


Note: This was the slice that should have been typed and posted Saturday morning. By the time I finally pulled myself out of bed, I hit the ground running and did not stop until very late evening. Those who read my ‘placeholder’ for Saturday night and my slice for yesterday know why it was preempted to today.


I woke up to birdsong.

I have a small playground surrounded by trees outside my windows. So in spite of my being a born and mostly bred city gal, I do hear birds on a regular basis. However, it is usually on weekday mornings of spring and autumn when their rising coincides with my walk to the train station for work. Again, depending on timing, some evenings I will catch their riotous calls as they circle and settle in for the night. Still, I almost never hear them weekend mornings.

As an early riser Monday thru Friday, unless my bladder calls, I steadfastly refuse acknowledgement of the world before 9am, 10am if I am particularly knackered from the previous night’s shenanigans. This is what made Saturday morning different. Daylight was just breaking over the jagged horizon of homes and tenements that mark my neighborhood I woke up to the trills and coos of birds. It’s not even 7am so my first instinct is to turn over and go back to sleep when I realize what I’m hearing. While I knew the playground and trees were there, it was one of the selling points to choosing the apartment, I had not really factored in birds. I amused myself trying to imagine their “morning routine” on a brisk winter day. Who’s the early riser among them, driving every other avian crazy with a.m. perkiness? Which is the one still burrowing under the twigs and twining of their nest wanting a few more moments of shut-eye.

It was the first time I’ve noticed them while ensconced in the quilting of my bed. It was a wonderful reminder of how close we are to spring.  They were at decibels boisterous enough to seep through windows tightly sealed against the chill of winter. Loud enough to reach through my still sleep drugged mind to make me hear; so now I listened. Until they lulled me back to sleep.


Let’s see how other’s are serving up their slices:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 6

This Is What It Sounds Like

I woke early this morning to birdsong. But not the trills that come with morning light. This was a lone note deep in the darkest before. I waited as the call went out. Then I waited some more.

Avian fantasia surrounded me as the bird voiced itself again. For somehow I knew it was the same lone bird and same lone note, perhaps calling out a name. Or was it a call awaiting response? I wondered if it was a mating call. Was there was a partner to answer?

Or was that the cry of the forlorn?

Try as I might, it sounded like crying; the gut wrenching sob of one trying to hide the pain. Is this what it sounds like when doves cry? I felt as though I was somehow intruding on something private, by just listening. As my alarm went off I rose knowing I was listening in vain. I did not hear the call again.

Just the memory of that note in the dark of night lingering on my psyche in the light of day.


Let’s see how others are slicing it up today…


Slice of Life Weekly Challenge | Two Writing Teachers

An Unkindness

Since Edgar quoted me with “nevermore”
From sea to sea, from shore to shore
Stuck am I with the forlorn evermore

That is an unkindness

My midnight plumage my mark
Damns me with the dark
Never exaltations as a lark

That is an unkindness

A terror, a blight
That is all you see
Even my brethren feathered white are considered a fright
My bane, my plight
The passion of me
Do I dare then make sight, even I seek the light?

But oh, to all my feathered kin
Who share not in my chagrin
Know that I cringe within

When you say we gather in murder
If only it were an unkindness


At dVerse De (aka WhimsyGizmo) invites us to “draw our poetic inspiration from the whimsical, musical, magical names given to groups of birds.”

Naturally, I take up the cause of my namesake. For while their near cousins, the crows, are quite known for killer gatherings, few know how much of an unkindness it really is for ravens.


dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics : Poetry is for the Birds

The Nightbird

A man stands on the  rail gripping its notches
Notions crescendo in his heart once more
As Sol sets again in deep hued swatches

In the near distance the nightbird watches

He gazes at the still deepening skies
Heartbreak are words clutched tight in his hands
Gives a resolute shrug the heart belies

In the near distance the nightbird sighs

He looks down upon the street through his tears
Passers-by unaware he’s on the edge
The cacophony of sound comes to him as jeers

In the near distance the nightbird fears

From past dusk to near dawn as its stead
The nightbird sings its pleas with dread
The winds carries the calls from overhead

In the near distance the man knows not what was said

He balances on, his thoughts in muddled heaps
Reclamation from his sorrow long gone
A last glance to Sol rising then he simply leaps

And in the near distance the nightbird weeps


In honor of Harper Lee, Kelly at dVerse invites us to tell a story in narrative poem. There is an added bonus for featuring a mockingbird, but my muse had other ideas.


dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics:  Listen to the Mockingbird

Where’s Tippi Hedren When You Need Her?

As a New Yorker, and I’m sure this holds for most urban dwellers, we take the sightings of the local fauna of squirrels and pigeons that manage to make the minuscule patches of green dotting the vast urban jungle landscape home in stride. It is a tenuous relationship at best. They cannot get rid of us and we cannot get rid of them. The childhood penchant for chasing and on rare catching pigeons is their burden to bear. Walking down the street knowing there are constant invisible concentric circles above our heads and it is a veritable hit or miss crapshoot every time we deign to step outside the door, is ours. These are hazards where both sides of the genus gap take loses as a survival of the fittest raw deal. Still, for the most part there has existed an unspoken, yet generally binding mutual agreement once we humans reach puberty that if we stay out of their way, they will stay out of ours.

The key words being for the most part

I pretty much walk the same path to the train each morning for work. I have an early schedule, so I may see only a handful of people on the streets before I reach the station. Therefore, certain portions of my path can have a gathering of avian. If there are less than ten birds together, I may give a modicum of space to their gathering and not disturb them. This morning, what looked like a platoon of them had gathered, enough that it would have given Alfred Hitchcock pause. There was no going around them. I had no choice but to stake my claim as the higher species. They were going to get out of my way this time, dammit!

I was fully prepared to plow right through them and they must have sensed it as a sizable amount took to flight. I was counting on this, thus I was not surprised by their sudden take off. Nor did the two or three stalwarts who were not leaving their breadcrumbs for anything surprise me. Hard cases exist in all species and I get it. What got me was this one pigeon crossing my path instead of the other way around. Dude was determined he was going thataway and not even this human was deterring him from his chosen path. I actually had to stop short, nearly stumbling, to keep from accidentally punting the flying frack to the tracks of the elevated train platform some fifty yards ahead. I stood there with my arms partially open in a dude seriously? pose. The damned thing had to nerve to cock its head at me in a whaat? stance as it kept going.

“Damn, he could have at least said excuse me.” Was the laughing commentary from a guy who was standing outside and witnessed the whole exchange.

My opinion exactly; the nerve! Apparently this hard case didn’t get the higher species memo.

The Raivenne-0 / The Pigeon-1


Slice of Life Story Challenge

Slice of Life Story Challenge