The Natural Course

Beakingoff Gravatar (The Eye of a Young Male Sharp-shinned Hawk)

Beakingoff Gravatar (The Eye of a Young Male Sharp-shinned Hawk)

Today is apparently the 2nd year anniversary for Beakingoff. It’s pretty cool thinking back to the evening when I first started this blog, fiddling with new designs and wondering what I could possibly write on it that other people might be interested in. If my Mom hadn’t encouraged me to start a blog so I could write about birds whenever I wanted, and helped me to figure out a name, Beakingoff would likely not have ever existed. Thank you Mom, and thank you to all of my readers for your readership and support these past two years! 🙂

Yesterday in my English 12 course I had to write three poems in three different formats. I decided to make one of them into a free verse poem about birders and birds and the course of a year, and I finished it this morning. I thought I would share it on here for those of my readers who like to read poetry. The poem is based on different birders I’ve spent time with, different things I’ve seen, and different stories I have heard, all combined together. For those of you who are shocked at the part that mentions shooting masked feathered robbers, it’s shooting as in taking pictures. The ‘once-beautiful birds’ mentioned were once beautifully coloured but now wear the dull grey or brown plumage of fall. I’ll stop revealing things and let you read now. Enjoy!

The Natural Course

The birder embraces the warm spring morning

Greeting the gentle light

Of the shyly peeking sun and quiet stirrings

Of birds awakening in feather beds.


His scope, his third eye,

Carefully polished and carefully cleaned

Braced on his shoulder, his binoculars swing

Rhythmic from his neck.


A ruffed grouse drums the heartbeat of life,

A snipe whoops love-struck above.

Scanning, scanning, scanning,

The birder sees all


Spotting the sparrow in the grass,

The eagle soaring high,

The rare tufted duck snoring among a million

Of its familiars.


Numbers build towers in the birder’s worn notebook,

Stained with rain and the pages

Reflect the aged yellow of the evening sun

The efforts of years.


Walking, walking, walking,

The birder searches new land seemingly untouched by people

Except for that Pepsi can in the bush

and the faint-trodden path.


The squirrel in that tree chatters angrily, furious

Disturbed from its hectic morning schedule.

The leafy green willow sounds muffled chaos

of bright hungry gullets.


Robins, the soldier with flash

Beckon, coaxing

Their hungry youth, hopping spotted

and curious.


Scratch, scratch, scratch,

The birder watches carefully

Scratching notes into his worn piece of history,

Stopping to shoot the masked feathered robber


Hidden in the fading green leaves.

Activity is subtle now

The pleading

of young no longer heard


The birder trains that all-seeing eye

On the slightest bit of movement,

Ears picking up the last snitchet of song

from the aging land.


Clouds form in the sky grainy and shimmering black

Countless numbers of once-beautiful birds

drawn irresistibly away.

Multitudes of raptors cut the sky


Their cruel eyes subconsciously searching for prey

Their instinct dragging them higher and further.

Pink and purple wash the sky

Red and orange drench the trees.


A ptarmigan alone and pensive

Greets the first snowflake reassured.

The birder walks away

From his piece of heaven and his priceless treasure,

Leaving nothing but tracks behind.


3 responses to “The Natural Course

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