The Towhee

The Towhee
December 21st, the solstice … yard birds huddle against the advance of winter.







The Towhee

Needles of sleet fell all throughout the night        

  And the towhee pecks at the hardened crust,

    Seeking the moist carpet of leaves below.

      But it is too deep. Only the memory

        Of his stutter step foraging remains:


Of hopping ahead and jumping backwards,

  Of when he tossed aloft the ground cover,

    The turning of each leaf, shoving, pulling,

      And searching for the mysteries beneath.

        He’d been so happy to be that busy


With the bounty of everlasting work,

  Patient in the quest for a tiny seed,

    The egg of an insect, a spent morsel.

      He flies to the white paper birch and joins 

        With the juncos and the chipping sparrow


Perched in the ribs of the tree’s skeleton

  Under the grey breast of the winter sky.

    He waits for the promise of tomorrow,

      In the biting wind and the falling snow,

        Warmed by the forge in his colossal heart.


New numbers in the drill.

8 thoughts on “The Towhee

  1. Such a wonderful tribute to life, and from a perspective that is so natural for us all ~ the courage that it takes to truly live a life well. All this from a Towhee 🙂 “Needles of sleet” and from my experiences of winters along the Columbia Gorge, I can relate to the difficulties of this experience quite well, and hope the winter has been a good one for you and most importantly you can see & feel the warm winds of spring around the corner 🙂 Wishing you and your family the best John, keep strong, stay healthy and continue with the happiness!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful John! I have several rescued sparrows (fell from the nest just after hatching) in 2 separate years. Tried to reunite with the parents, but they fell out again. I love nature and so enjoyed your tribute to the beauty surrounding you. Hope all is well with you, your family and your MM status! Julie

    Liked by 1 person

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