into the park
across to the fallen
tree, chopped apart,
and the cry of a quail:
a busy hunt
for a stray unidentified call
in the scrub,
count the songs
of Bewick’s Wrens,
wander idly
round a bush
snag a bramble
bending down
thinking of nothing:

head up to the lookout
then down through the camas,
wading through
a pool of rippled blue
into a wave
of warm perfume,
a bank of wallflowers,
burnt umber, butter yellow,
orange rust;
a hummingbird
in orbit around
a magnolia flower’s creamy calyx:

a courtship of gulls,
ordered and formal,
a slow motion square dance,
--bow to your partner, offer a twig
or a piece of grass,
she sidles away
not very far
and busies herself with a suitable pebble
but startled by a quick black crow,
they fly away in unison.

street corner boys, the crows,
cosa nostra clamour,
Luftwaffe squadron out on strafe,
Stuka divers, raptor cops;
collectively, intelligence
no lab report can measure:
don’t get in their black books.

down at the pond
the widgeon are restless,
time to be off:
they don’t have much 
to pass the time,
no diversions
to distract them, only blind
fear, and food,
and propagation of their kind:
and here, the lone Eurasian male
stands out among the drab grey females,
the green eyed males,
truly another species,
smart silver-sided
chestnut headed alien,
never far from the side
of his lady, who, as far as he knows,
is the only female of his kind
in the whole wide
municipal park and beyond,
her faintly russet head
no blemish to the scores
of rivals who would take her from him.
small wonder then
they stick together, this pair:
admire the subtle comedy
of his devoted tyranny:
yet they are myth-
Tristan and Isolde, yes, why not?
heroine and hero
pure essence of biology,
the cutting edge
of a species in expansion?

getting late:  earth oriented
natural man
looks at the sun
to tell the time, 
orients in space-
time, in gestalt
no clocks no props
knows west, knows when,
but if my sun were in the north,
I’d calibrate my hunger
to a different time of day,
the earlier the later
the other way:

and think a bit: what if I were
an Arctic Tern, commuting to
the southern ocean every year,
round trip, there and return,
what then?  I wouldn’t know
which way to turn.

getting late: the eagle
trailing a banner
of agitated gulls,
yelling and protesting,
loudly dwindling
away in the distance
across the harbour
turning inland, soaring 
downwind toward a rather large
dark orange