Listen To Our Birds

by Darryl Price


We know a poem isn't going to stop you

From invading our town. It won't get you to

Listen to our birds any more than to our

Sunsets. That's not why we do it.  We know


A poem isn't going to break the blade of

Your knife like an invisible karate move. It's not

Meant to. What it does is sing, nothing more,

Nothing less. It lets loose a certain rhythm, a


Back beat, that's all. It provides a place for

Another voice to exist among the annihilation and carnage

Of endless war. It carries the words of love

To always new ears. It doesn't strap on bombs


Before it goes to marketplace. You don't find it,

It finds you. We know a poem won't stop

You from rigging the election, from buying the favors

Of bad men, from selling out people for profit.


All it does is sing, and sing, and sing

Some more. If this irritates you, we're so sorry

For the rather rude inconvenience of our humming together

For peace. We know a poem is not going


To stare down a tank barrel for too long.

We get it. Sooner or later you're going to

Have to look at your million dollar watch and

Make a million dollar nasty decision before it gets


Too late for any decent dinnertime. There are those

Who are with you all the way to the

Proverbial bank. They'd like to use all those annoying

Poems for some kind of ballistic target practice. We


Know a poem isn't your thing. You can't tell

Us apart. You think we all look the same.

Of course this is all part of the ongoing

Sadness you create when you ignore the poem's sound.


We know a poem isn't going to make us

Any new friends. We've all known a poem that

Was burned in your bonfires. But did you know

This one was for you? It's about feeling something.

Bonus poem:



I would want you to be as happy at the

End as at the beginning. I would want the courage

That you found to be as natural as your high

When you can't help yourself. I would want the thrills

To be all your moment like a panoramic view from

The lighthouse of the heart. I would want to feel

The happiness in your fingertips as we walked along the

Edges of your own shoreline. I would want you to

Feel at home in your own gait, your own laughter,

Your own stance. The poem wouldn't adorn you as much


As fly by you and give you its wind, wave

You its wing on a nodding shaft of sunlight. I

Wouldn't want you to be named after any star because

That field could not begin to account for the amazing

Blue depth in your eyes to me. I would want

You to be able to dance with every adventurous drop

Of rain. I would want you to be free to

Explore your own strength for beauty. I would want you

To climb into my arms for naked peace, with fun

Goodwill, but not without a healthy curiosity. I would want


You to always be the person inhabiting your soul. I

Would want you to be still growing into yourself even

At your age. I would want you to disregard these

Crazy ramblings and kiss me over and over again. I

Would want you to be anything you want to be

And not what any poet wants you to be. I

Would want you to be surrounded by caring friends who

Could never harm you. I would want you to be

Your own poet, although I'm more than happy to step

Into the role when you need me, but you don't.


Consider this a letter of resignation. I'm honored by your

Presence. It's the purest proof that love is worth every

Humiliation, every trip and fall, every injury and setback. I

Would only want you to be careless as well as

Careful when it comes to matters of the heart. You

Will know what I mean when you are standing at

The crossroads. Trust in yourself first. Safety is as much

An illusion as anything else with bars on the door.

I would want you to be the one who gets

The job of living well done with kindness and mercy.


I would want you to be engaged with the energy

That heals the world. I would want you to be

The last human being standing. I've said about all there

Is to say. I just wanted you to know. These

Words are all I have to hold you with now.

I want you to be blessed one more time. It's

Important to me. Otherwise I wouldn't say it. I would

Want you to be smiling as you read this. It

Is real if we make it an action toward being

So. I would want you to be sure and ready.