By Thomas R. Bates
Again I go to the park
To try and photograph
A singing Song Sparrow,
A passing Myrtle Warbler, or
A tiny Ruby-Crowned Kinglet.
Waiting a while for something to
Happen, something finally does.
Overhead I hear a tremendous
Ruckus and a flapping of wings
And see a pair of aggressive
Blue Jays chasing a terrified
Squirrel up and down the
Aspen trees as he tries
Desperately to escape their
Wicked dive-bombing tactics.
The jays are simply defending
The nest in their own territory.
All over in just a minute or two,
This little bit of drama reminds me
That even as I go into Nature to find
Solace and tranquillity, all is not so quiet
And sometimes violent conflicts can erupt at
Any moment, not unlike in our own human world.
Last night just before sunset
As I was quietly reading outside,
I began to hear a loud commotion
Across the yard in the woods beyond.
A mob of Blue Jays were screaming
Bloody murder at something,
Like they sometimes do,
But there were at least
Six of them making
Quite the racket.
I strolled down to see
What exactly was going on.
They were tormenting a poor Catbird
Who was trying to defend him or herself
Meekly calling out “meyew”almost inaudibly.
Feeling sorry for the little traumatized bird,
I did what I could do to break it up,
But I don’t speak their language.
Eventually the confrontation
Dissipated and thankfully
The jays moved on.
Today I hear the Catbird
Singing my favorite songs again,
Maybe with a little less gusto than usual,
But singing, nevertheless, ever so sweetly.