fileg (fileg) wrote,

NPM Gannon (again)

by Tom Gannon

in the high black hills of south dakota
you can tell the pin~on jay from the blue jay
by the yack of its phony french accent

here, too, the wheeze of the pine siskin
betrays to a blind man the browner bird
among its goldfinch cousins

and as for the silence--well, that could be
either a great horned owl in flight,
or just that--the silence

the thing is in the approach, to come into a clearing
with the green awe of an eight-year-old, youth-
fevered, on the back of his first shetland

there is nothing better than to hear nothing at all,
and then the plain, sure notes of a chickadee
right there off to your left, in that stand of yellow pines

to know the birds, you need to know
their native idioms, the rise and fall
of a peculiar cadence in the sounds they make--
the rest is, as they say, a matter of technique
Tags: poetry, poetry and lyrics, poetry month

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