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Gene Williamson

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A Few Birds To Look Out For
by Gene Williamson
Monday, July 20, 2009
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Gene Williamson
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           >> View all 258



After a month of Sundays crawling
through brush, bramble, and meadow, 
climbing trees, wading marshlands, 
strolling lonely beaches and river banks 
th his custom Audubon endorsed binoculars, 
he can relate some funny things 
about our avian kinfolk.

The Oldsquaw is 
a furtive Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
that displays a red throat and 
tries to suck the life out of trees.

Forget it if you have a yen to go looking
for a Labrador Duck;
the last one seen was in 1878.
Bird extinction
is a constitutional right of the NRA.

A Himalayan Goose was spotted
at twenty-nine thousand feet
but neither the spotter nor goose
was heard from again.
The FAA said it was a renegade weather balloon
ultimately shot down
over Novoekonomicheskoye
by a Russian peasant who mistook it
for a Tibetan weather demon that rains fire.

Birds are the only surviving dinosaurs.
A fossil of the first bird was found
in Bavaria by a slate-splitter who
gave it to the district medical officer,
who sold it for a small fortune to the British Museum.
Science named this avian reptile Archeopteryx
and proved to all but the fundamentalists
that it lived 125 million years ago.

Still earlier creatures known as Thecodonts
thought they could fly from rock to rock
until they realized they were longtailed lizards
whose scales only looked like feathers.

Chicken Hawks rarely eat chickens
they eat mice.
We eat chickens.

The most boring bird you will ever see
is the Red-Eyed Vireo which sings
the same note twenty-two thousand times a day,
whereas some Sparrows are known to improvise
as many as twenty variations on a given note.

If there were no birds
Tchaikovsky would not have known
what to name his lake,
Keats would have written one less ode,
the Wright brothers would have stuck to bicycles.
two in the bush would be as good as an empty hand,
there would be no Cardinals in the Vatican,
and the world would be ruled by bugs.

It is against the law to molest birds
or steal their eggs except
for House Sparrows and Starlings
and a few other species that remain unprotected
because they play havoc with crops
and have multiplied to the point that they threaten
to take over the planet,
and they probably have the same fear about us.

When in your backyard spotting birds
through binoculars it is prudent
to shout from time to time,
Birdwatchers doing time as Peeping Toms
are often referred to as Jailbirds.







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Reviewed by Gianetta Ellis 7/28/2009
"If there were no birds
Tchaikovsky would not have known
what to name his lake,
Keats would have written one less ode," - terrific lines in a wonderfully light and airy poem. The tone here is classic Williamson. Your wit runs deep and brings your poems to life; it is a distinguishing characteristic that tells your readers: "this is Gene."
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 7/26/2009
Oh my ..your amazing I love this wowwwwww..great writing sweetie ..please have a wonderful and safe day OK..Hugsss
Chanti Lace xoxo
Reviewed by Juliet Waldron 7/24/2009
Priceless Gene! This is absolutely brilliant and I LOVED it. Thanks!
Reviewed by Will Bates 7/22/2009
Informative and fun Gene. Loved it! thanks, Michael
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 7/22/2009
funny mean Gene, bird watching is a good sport, as long as it don't land you in court, cheers
Reviewed by Julianza (Julie) Shavin 7/21/2009
This made my day. Either I've had a terrible day, or this was a TOO-fun educational, entertaining, poetic, political and religious piece that I think is very good. At first i thought, uh oh, I'm in an encyclopedia or web-page, but of course, there is so much Gene in it. So much of that Gene-tic material, not just fact. I must add that without birds how would we ever flick anyone off? Too great. And don't forget Shelley. Ode to a Skylark has always been one of my favorites (it is Shelley, isn't it?) I'm not much of a bird person, but what would summer be like without them? How could we live with an empty sky? I'll tell you, I can't stand to see them in cages. I know, I know, I have dogs in a fence on 1/4 acre......ream me out now. What would summer be without bird sounds? The repeating of a note 22,000 times is something I didn't know. I wonder if this is how my husband feels when i say, um, the garbage is full (over 25 years). Just call me a birdbrain. Thanks for the laughs, Genosaurus.
Reviewed by Poetess of The Soul Sheila G 7/21/2009
LOL, That's Too Funny Gene, we watch our hummingbird and our Cardinal looking into our car side mirror, EVER HEARD OF THAT>>>? Seriously!!!Every morning ( he's/she's so vane ) I want to write a poem about him/her...

Love, SHEE
Reviewed by Paul Berube 7/21/2009
Well done, Gene.
Reviewed by Patricia Martin 7/21/2009
Oh, I LOVE this! I spent many happy hours sitting in the wetlands, watching the thousands of birds and listening to them talk to one another. It is, after all, speech ... because we do not know the language does not mean it isn't.

Write on, my friend.
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 7/21/2009
:)))))))))))))))))))))))))))) You can really fluff your feathers for this one Gene! It's packed with fabulous fict-fact pickings and a Kookaburra humour, too! And I've rarely seen such a collection of weird, wonderful and looooooooooong-sounding words lining a poem. This is very emus-ing. Love it! xx
Reviewed by richard cederberg 7/21/2009
informatory, enlightening, and well-written.
Your talent shines here Oscar. And yes,
that last strophe is a good disclaimer
for the voyeuristic mentality.
Boobies or birds. hmmmm ...
Reviewed by La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart 7/21/2009
Love your sense of humor Gene and the lesson about birds...and jailbirds!
Reviewed by J'nia Fowler 7/21/2009
Gene, I found this to be both educational and a romping good time. Birds as dinosaurs, no wonder they frighten me with their ugly bits. their beady eyes, their sharp talons and scaly legs. We were discussing the wording of creation in Genesis 1 the other day, Rod being a scientist and I being raised Baptist has left me with the idea that there is room for the development of species over millions of years. "Let the earth produce." for example. My fundamentalist friend would not be happy with me if they knew what I believe. lol I think that lizards, and iguanas and komoto dragons too are small dinosaurs. But don't tell anyone. Hugs, J'nia
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 7/21/2009
As a fellow brush crawling, tree climbing, binocular toting, bird watcher, I really enjoyed this, Gene!
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 7/21/2009
I think I saw a couple of Archeopteryx that the news saying they were extinct maybe was premature...that or reading your writings while drinking Coors don't mix! LOL
Very informative for all the kitties kitties around!


Reviewed by Victoria's Poetry & Voices of Muse 7/21/2009
I have never heard of a Red Eyed Vireo, but I am so guilty of voyeurisms!! AH HA! Caught Aagin!!! Gazing my eyes upon the fine feathers which patron my feeders & yard...and YES! Them sparrows are glorious singers! The red winged black bird gurgles delight, the Cardinal & I have the same hours :) but best of all is Mother Robin who nests on my door wreath every me a real bird's eye view! I especially love seeing all them birds bring their babies to the feeders too...and watching the killdeer pretend to be wounded & then peck at my pups...I enjoyed your flight through the sky with this poem Gene!....Sweet…tweet tweet :)
Love & Inspiration
Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 7/20/2009
I'd say this is rather outstanding from many perspectives, well the fundamentalists might disagree but sometimes science is just science.
Great job. Patrick
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 7/20/2009
My goodness, what an interesting write you have presented and somehow I just know it is all true too. We have bird feeders in the front and back and are always being visited. The cats enjoy watching the most...

Be always safe,
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 7/20/2009
Clever posting, Gene; I love it! Well done, (((my friend))); bravo!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by Jon Willey 7/20/2009
the Audubon society has an expert dwelling on the Jersey shores --avian creatures of every description, have a friend dwelling on the Jersey shores -- and we lucky folks in the den, have one masterful poet with the expertise, empirical background and imagination to write one magnificent poem suitable for those of us that flock (ouch!) to poetry -- poorly aimed binoculars are one of the hazards inherent to bird watching, Gene -- let the peeper beware -- most enjoyable read my dear friend -- thanks for sharing with us -- peace and love -- Jon Michael
Reviewed by jude forese 7/20/2009
wow, what a creative poem ... colorful images in flight ...
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 7/20/2009
I love birds (except a few - read my poem, "A Shallow Poet). I appreciate your meaningful wit and humor shared here via your verses, Gene. Thank you. Love and peace,

Reviewed by John Flanagan 7/20/2009
This has the erudition and scholarship we expect and receive from you but it's the telling that makes the poem, so light and airy and almost off the cuff - that takes real work and talent - and the ruminations are marvellous. I'll forgive you the ending because it's brilliant. Beautiful work!

Reviewed by Lori Moore 7/20/2009
Wonderful work. Swan lake by any other name would still be beautiful, but...
Reviewed by JMS Bell 7/20/2009
Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 7/20/2009
I am taking flight with a particular metaphor here with this stanza, Gene. Why? It is the boring Red Eyed Vireo Poets who have ignorantly pigeon-holed themselves into only one form of monotone poetry, in rogation of only one proselytizing pitch to fall off the branch - so much for bird brains, as opposed to the multi-noted sparrow who sings by calling out notes of diversity...There is also, too, a reason that only authentic Native Americans may possess eagle feathers for the dreamcatcher healing shaman. A Few Birds To Look Out For - the last stanza - voyeurism is when you are looking at your neighbor through the Audubon binoculars at full power and you see them looking back at you through their Audubon binoculars...reciprocal beaks extended and arousal performs its mating dance...


"The most boring bird you will ever see is the Red-Eyed Vireo which sings
the same note twenty-two thousand times a day, whereas some Sparrows are known to improvise as many as twenty variations on a given note"

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