Yellow-throated Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

High in scarred sycamores,
the yellow-throated warbler,
sings. Its song rolls down
and reaches the old man
at rest along an older path.
He looks up through clouded eyes,
blinking for clarity, but sees only a swift streak
of light against the sheddings of a white trunk.

No matter, songs have brought him here
where the rising creek hollows out
new patterns on the land.

Forty years have altered the course
he had known for so long, but the songbirds
do not fail to return. The sycamores still stand
in spite of storms and strikes. Their cavities
will take far longer to bring about death
than the old man will ever see.

He will come as long as he can to listen,
to sit back in the tangled roots
stretched out to the water’s edge.

  • Brian Lowry

6 comments

  1. I see my advice to contact Sarah for permission to post here was actually somewhat late. A hearty welcome, Brian; I am pleased to be reading you again.

    This is the kind of poem I remember from you, the easy familiarity with land in nature communicated as you draw the reader along with you.

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  2. Brian,

    I am thrilled to be reading your poetry and seeing your photography.
    It is truly a joy. Welcome home, my friend!

    Looking forward to more .

    Hoping this finds you recovered and your family well.

    Best,
    sarah

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  3. Hi Brian

    This is truly exquisite, both the photo and the poem! I love the way you develop the relationship between the man and the bird, the age of a human to the age of the trees. We are interconnected and you certainly demonstrate that point in this poem. One of my favorite stanzas is this —

    Forty years have altered the course
    he had known for so long, but the songbirds
    do not fail to return. The sycamores still stand
    in spite of storms and strikes. Their cavities
    will take far longer to bring about death
    than the old man will ever see.

    Indeed, water is the spirit of life embodying the river/stream and determines the course of the land and the
    its species. Trees, too, are our guardians and from them we can listen, learn and come closer to God.

    Thank you for sharing this,
    so good reading you again.

    Take care,
    Wendy

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    • Thank you, Wendy! So good to hear from you. I so appreciate your careful, thoughtful reading of this poem. Thanks too for your feedback. Blessings to you and yours.

      Brian

      Like

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