Roaring, an absence of birds, poplar trees bending toward the south fence,
lavender petals torn from a white calyx, a far thin whistle.
Desert winds scatter dust & batter houses while fruit trees bloom,
the cactus buds, grape vines green: the parrots return.
Across the open sandy field & the gravel service road, beyond utility poles
somewhere in a vineyard hundreds of parrots cry out morning.
Morning after night rain, the sand rinsed, dust settled, each brown blade
gleams, purple spikes thread gray-green leaves, snow crowns peaks.
Stepping out to the patio I see the burrowing owl standing
a stone’s toss away, considering, then trilling a song: are we neighbors?
Head cocked, the chimango stands beside the wooden barrel, bastion of
banana peel, peach pit, egg shell, melon rind, chicken skin & bone.
Out back on a rebar spike a benteveo studies the mud-swirled pool,
gazes left, then right: out front two brown doves poke at bare ground.
Forty parrots swarm the tensioned wires crossing the youngest vineyard:
dip & bow, offer & counter, proclaim & respond, lift & swoop.
Such noise: where is time to eat between the ululations? Bumps & rushes,
beak-to-beak wing-wild perturbations, flashes of olive & blue.
On each dive the golondrina flashes blue, the benteveo sails over yellow
but teru-teru hops & shrieks, glum to be only black & white & brown.
Four pirinchos touch down – yellow crests flaring, long tails leaving
trails in the sand – they lunge & skip into the vineyard to feed.
All day around me the hawks circle, swoop, settle rise: what they find,
what they take, must be beneficial, even delicious, all I don’t see.
Wind the color green flycatcher fresh shoots roses ankle socks a blue bicycle
a dove’s imprint on the picture window flowering cactus in pots.
Hundreds at once the parrots rise up shrieking, black from one angle,
silver from another in sun’s low glare, then down to a willow, a rest.
|Milvago chimango, chimango|
|Pitangus sulphuratus, benteveo|
|parrots in a willow tree|