Poetry Friday: In the Presence of Birds


My One Little Word for 2016 is present. I chose this word mainly to help me stop procrastinating, and so far it is helping. But a month after the fact, I’ve realized that another meaning of the word, being mindful and observant of the here-and-now, is also fitting. After all, observation is the work of poets (and teachers, but that’s another story!). This week I came across two poems that are full of presence, and also happen to be about birds. 

by Judith Moffet

It comes when you’re not looking. Has been there
Before you noticed. Blazes forth between
The hickory’s new leaves, their tender green
Massy above you flopped into a chair,
Hot from the garden with an aching back.
Two phoebes flit from tree to eave to tree
Feeding the tyrant nestlings you can’t see;
You watch them labor, mind and body slack

Read the rest of the poem here.

I also found this gem by Marilyn Singer, torn from the pages of Storyworks, in a folder of poems at school:


Please be sure to visit Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

10 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: In the Presence of Birds

  1. I love these. Thank you for posting them! I am a birdwatcher – have been birding for about 35 years. I write poems about birds ( as well as other things). So I always love reading bird poems by others.


  2. I loved both of these poems, especially the first one. I could spend hours watching the birds flit from “eave to tree” in our backyard. I was surprised once I started looking just how many nests and how much life birds brought to our yard. I also love the discoveries that come from being present–observing and watchful.


  3. At NCTE, in a session with Marilyn Singer, she told us a story about crows.They often appear in her poetry. I had forgotten we chose the same word for this year. I’m afraid it was too good a choice for me as I have had lots of time to just be present.


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