Flight Club in Yellow (Kuck-coo Draft 0) [awkward thing: maybe just outline of something?]

Flight Club in Yellow

Goldfinches were calling
at the flight club

He looked across the sky
and said, “Po-ta-to-chip”

Twitter-twitter warble oh my she sang
and wandered off for sunflower seeds

As the early summer sun turned yellow
he did too, and she would see him again

With a tee-yee he landed, and
soon after mutual
twitter warbles,
there was bliss in a nest

but when there were threats
she reminded the world:
“bay-bee, bay-bee,”
waited.

Soon his yellow in flight drew near the nest
and then in a coloratura soprano voice
she greeted him back in festive color

Yellow Summer sun on the nest
raised up the glory of tee-yee,
raised twitter little tweeties

and raised up the glory of
sunflower seeds in yellow
tee-he he-he, tee-he

— Douglas Gilbert

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4 thoughts on “Flight Club in Yellow (Kuck-coo Draft 0) [awkward thing: maybe just outline of something?]

  1. Twitter twitter warble oh my! I love this! It’s a sweet chirpy poem full of feathered goodness. The yellow summer sun and oooh, bliss in a nest…sunflower seeds yum! I think it’s some kind of thistle seed that my goldfinches eat, they are picky and don’t like to use the other birdfeeder that the bigger birds go to. i’d have to look it up to be sure if it was a specific type of thistle but i’m commenting on my phone and i’m afraid to exit and try to look it up because i’ll probably lose my comment…im not that great at typing on this thing. But im happy to be reading and commenting on a new poem by you while im cruising along the interstate, it makes the traveling much more fun. I’m glad im just a back seat passenger on this trip. Back to the poem, i love the ‘po ta to chip” bay bee, teeyee and tee he he sounds…and the twitter little tweeties sound so cute. great poem.

    1. Thanks very much. Yeah, thistle, I saw that on that bird call link you gave me, and it also said that the birds say, “po-ta-to-chip,” and “tee-yee”, but when I listened to the recordings I couldn’t hear it. Maybe need to hear it slowed down or lowered in pitch a few octaves. I remember reading about a study where they identified 5 types of sounds that many different animals seemed to have in common: anger, fear, curiosity, mating calls, threatening… Ooops, two are overlapping and there’s another one I don’t remember — maybe it was just “Hello”. But anyway, they took the five typical type sounds from birds and lowered the frequency of the sound so that it was a bass voice as low as a dog’s bark and they found out that the bird’s angry chirp sounded the same as the dog’s angry bark. And in a similar way with the other 4 sounds. Hmm, that was many years ago and probably by now it’s been discredited or something. Oh, and the thing that I found odd about the summary at your bird call link is that when they explained what the bird calls sounded like they gave no hint that it sounded humorous, or maybe they choose those particular transliterations as an inside joke. But, I don’ know, I think if I were writing a summary for a web site about bird sounds, I wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation to say, “…and by the way, even though they make a sound that sounds like “potato chip” they don’t actually eat potato chips but prefer thistle or sunflower.

    2. Oh yeah, I copied a portion because I thought it could help write a poem:

      ” The American Goldfinch’s most common call is its contact call, often given in flight. It sounds like the bird is quietly saying po-ta-to-chip with a very even cadence. Birds sometimes give harsh threat calls when in feeding flocks or at the nest. Males make a tee-yee courtship call upon landing near a female in spring or early summer, often followed by a burst of song. Females brooding nestlings make a rapid sequence of high notes when they hear their mate approaching with food. Birds at their nest make a loud, two-parted bay-bee call if they feel threatened.

      Cornell All About Birds
          I also found it odd that they didn’t comment on the fact that the transliteration that they chose of “bay-bee” sounds like baby. Or for that matter that tee-yee sounds similar to tee-hee that humans use.

      1. (giggling) I just clicked the birdsong link again and my son is sitting across the room and said “What is that? It sounds like something epic, like a rapping bird wearing a bandana or something like that”. A rapping bird…hehe. Yeah, i read that stuff about the potato chip, teehee and baybee on the page too, that’s one reason i loved your poem so much. hmm…maybe they’d like to try a potato chip and they’re asking for one and nobody understands or is just like oh, isn’t that a pretty song. But it’s probably best that they don’t try one because then they’ll be hooked and wanting them all the time. Yeah it is kinda hard to hear but i think the tee hee and bay-bee one was the easiest to hear. It’s neat that the dog’s angry bark and birds angry chirp sounds similar. I think when I fuss a little it’s sounds similar to the birds angry chirps too…
        Ok well everyone is back in the condo now so i better get off the computer, we’re going back to the beach in a bit…

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