Tag Archives: Animals

Speaking of Poetry

Buzzards and Poems

Turkey Vulture Can you believe it? I was just asked to make a presentation on these joint topics to the Arkansas Audubon Society. Their upcoming convention. will be September 27-28 in Harrison AR.

I am beside myself with wonder. Which causes me to wonder if Lynn Sciumbato, the local vulture expert will be there. I also hope I’ll be able to locate the extensive vulture research I once did. Otherwise, I’ll start from scratch. 

The correct term for what most Americans call “buzzard” is actually “vulture.” So I’m counting on the Audubon audience to be indulgent with my use of the incorrect common name. The word “buzzard” actually refers to a type of hawk. Scientists and Europeans are sticklers for this distinction.

This invitation to speak didn’t come completely out of the blue …  sky … like a buzzard. One morning I saw a glimpse of a bird that I couldn’t quite identify; it was large and dark with white wing-tips. So I looked up the Arkansas Audubon Society on Facebook and asked questions. A long discussion followed. In it, I mentioned my love of buzzards and the related poetry. And now … voila! A chance to share.

Let’s see. I’ll dredge up a buzzard poem for you …

HAIL, FELLOW

Every day, a buzzard
comes into my view—
flying solo overhead
or swooping down, quite low,
or stationed in some untoward place.
It seems to say, “Hey, you!”

There’s nothing that I dread
or worry I should know.
I simply view it as a grace
and I reply, “Hey!” too.

Turkey Vulture

My affinity for buzzards grew out of several moving and meaningful encounters.  Maybe you know of a group that’s hot to hear these stories in a presentation on “Buzzards and Poetry”? Not likely, I know, but I’m ready when the group is.  ♥ ~Jo

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Photo Credits: Images cropped from a couple of my recent snapshots.

Walking and the Dogs

My Buddies

On daily walks, I never know what I’ll encounter. Usually it’s something marvelous. Other times it’s funny or beautiful or grim.

Bird dog and beagle

Bird dog and beagle

DEAD TO THE WORLD

(Two dogs,
two body lengths
from the electrified fence,
lie unmoving in the dust and weeds.
A neighborhood walker approaches.)

“Where’ve you been, buddies, huh?
I been missin’ you these last few days.
Not gonna raise your heads, are ya?
Too stuck up? Too dang taaard?”

“Hey, I’m callin’ ya’s, … whistlin’.
It ain’t that hot; you ain’t that tard.
Cain’t be. C’mon move, ya lazy lugs.

I bet this rock I’m tossin’ll bust you awake.”

“No?—

OH! Oh ma gawd,
who done you in, boys?
OH, GOODLORDM’GAWD!!!”

(An ear twitches.)

“Dang dogs!”

Well that was a somber episode ... until it flipped. Spooky. Those were some, yeah, dead-to-the-world critters. These are the same two dogs that used to howl and bark and chase along the fence every time I walked near. Now they’re inured to me … or, hopefully, my efforts to befriend them have been ultra-successful. This is a good way for this episode to end.

(By the way, that is not my normal mode of talking. But the boys enjoy it … when they’re alert.
♥ ~Jo

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