The sound of car alarms above my head,
Then card’nal calls around the lightning rod
Inspired my search for brilliant card’nal red.
I saw instead what’s beautiful and odd:
A forest full of sounds and frantic song
Escaping from a single mockingbird.
As though he meant to say, “This life’s not long
And, while it lasts, it’s often quite absurd,”
He played a crow, a robin, and a horn
And jumped between the roles at rates so fast
That moments after ev’ry sound was born
Its span of life among the clouds had passed.
He strove to share the songs he’d kept inside
Instead of hoarding them until he died.*
*I know that he was likely trying to attract a mate…
“An Elegy for a Cow” [An Elizabethan Sonnet by Paul Burgess]
A mockingbird’s demise is sad, no doubt,
But rarely does one raise a single brow—
No, not a man it seems does cry or pout—
When flies begin to feast upon a cow.
No thought is spared the weeping widowed bull
Who never could replace the love she gave,
Who lacks the milk to keep their children full,
Who can’t afford a spade to dig her grave,
Who knows, alas, his cherished, mooing mate
With leather tanners soon will have to meet—
Because it’s destiny, says the Book of Fate,
To be some guy or gal’s reclining seat—
Whose beefy bovine tears inscribe in soil
These lines produced by bullish sweat and toil.