Avian Translation (Draft 1)

Avian Translation (Draft 1)

I’ve always wanted to speak
to the smaller birds, so
I’ve done a lot of weird whistling

Sometimes a little birdie cocks her head
and tries to see if I’m a threat or a bird benevolent,
but I’m neither a mate nor predator, just
a conversationalist

So I whistle something which means
“give tomatoes to Owls, like Caesar.”

And she says, “Huh, what? And
for a Human you don’t look so bad
even though you have no feathers.
Why is it that you can’t fly?
It’s so easy.”

And I said, “Why is it that
you can’t speak and write novels.”

“Well, then,” it said, “have you written one lately?”

And I said, “Um, no…”

And it said in a way that I think it meant kindly that
I was a birdbrain.

— Douglas Gilbert

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One thought on “Avian Translation (Draft 1)

  1. What a wonderful day, I come home from work and find two new amazing poems by you. Bird benevolent, that’s a good term and I wanna have a conversation with the birds! I’ve always thought they were lucky to be able to fly. It would be nice if they could speak and write novels too though, but then I’ve never written a novel so I guess the birds and I have at least one thing in common besides enjoying sunflower seeds. This poem made me giggle…especially the “give tomatoes to Owls, like Caesar.” and the birdbrain ending. Yes, yes, give all the tomatoes to Owls, well, as long as they aren’t allergic…

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