#NaPoWriMo Entry #13: “Chickadee”

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I don’t feel like prefacing this with a grand explanation.  I’m having a shit day.

So here’s a poem I wrote for NaPo.  That is all:


A chickadee fee-bees
into the monstrous
sea-green sleeves
reaching up for the sun:
a photosynthesis love song.
But no voices hear him,
for the grasslands are barren.

His voice cries out regardless —
fee-bee fee-bee tsit tsit —
hoping that the low-flying wind
slapping the ingers together
will carry his voice
to verdant lands —
tseedleedeet chicka-dee-dee-dee —
where new feathers perform their own journeys.
To no avail — they dream
for something else
than what their lands can provide.
That hope sustains his voice
like a honey drizzle
on the vocal chords —
fee-bee fee-bee.

But there are no verdan fields
and no lonely ones peering out
                       for him.
He whistles his song
until he can no more,
until his throad cracks blood,
his chest burning, ashen,
no longer supporting
the moss-tinged air.

Who will hear his voice
when he no longer
sends it out on winds
twirling with life?
Or does he sing anything at all
if there is nobody around
              to hear him,
like the fable of the tree.

The chickadee lies down in the grass,
unable, unwilling to speak,
silenced by ghosts
of unfulfilled promises.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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