“Quiet Birds”, posted for Oneshotpoetry.com

"Nuthatches", watercolor, 2006, Jane Kohut-Bartels


Quiet birds!

I have not changed you into metaphors yet.

Your chatter adds crystallized chaos

To last nights tokaji clouding the brain.

My eyes open with reluctance

To splinters of light

Challenging soft, painful membranes.

The smell of black coffee cuts

Into the reality I am no longer young.

A night like last should be wrapped in tissue

Locked deep in a trunk,

To find when I am past temptations-

Having room only for memories and regrets.

Quiet birds.

The day looks promising.

I await a new flock of metaphors

With polished feathers

To land on my shoulders,

Weighing me down-

Colorful daydreams,

Peacock words,

Bird of Paradise thoughts!

For some reason,

Words, whole paragraphs,

Circle my head, then

Flap off in a thunder of wings.

I hear laughter of rude crows,

See a mess of bird droppings,

And with a few cracked seeds

begin my penitence-

Starvation wages for a poor poet,

Left to a flightless life.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2008, 2011

With thanks to George Szirtes, for the words: “Quiet Birds, I haven’t changed you into metaphors yet.”  I couldn’t resist.

Picture of author from "White Cranes of Heaven", Lulu.com

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22 Responses to ““Quiet Birds”, posted for Oneshotpoetry.com”

  1. Margie Says:

    Love this poem! I can hear the birds chattering in the trees while a thoroughly hung over poet tries NOT to wake up! I love your poetry because it’s so visually appealing. I love you because you’re funny!


  2. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! I couldn’t get a better review of me or the poem!

    Thank you, Margie. We all need more laughter in our lives….

    the other big influence for this poem was a commercial. It was of a composer, sitting before a grand piano….and having nothing come to mind. (been there many times with poetry. lol). He raises his head and looks outside his window. There are power lines….5 stretched across this obviously industrial landscape. It looks like a musical staff as birds fly and settle on the lines. He plays what he sees, and grand and glorious chords and music comes from this!

    LOL!…it was a wonderful commercial, and generated (in part) “Quiet Birds”.

    By the way, 98 year old Aunt Jean loves this poem. She understands the Hungarian word: tokaji, too.


    Thank you, Margie…I was just thinking of you.

    Love and Hugs back,


  3. Laura Hegfield Says:

    This is wonderful Jane…interestingly, I wrote about singing birds today!


  4. pandamoniumcat Says:

    A wonderful poem…expresses everything brilliantly. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Thank you.


  5. brian Says:

    ah when the muse comes and shits on your shoulder its not a good day….lol…glad they did not today…this was a wonderful write and love the allusions to poeting/writing through out…i think we find metaphor it seems in all we are given…


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Laura!

    Singing birds…LOL! Like minds….

    Thank you for reading and your comment. I will go read your poem.



  7. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, PCat!

    I appreciate the praise!

    Lady Nyo


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Brian,
    I think you are right about metaphor.

    Perhaps the zing in poetry?

    Lady Nyo


  9. moondustwriter Says:

    The water color is priceless
    Liked the contrast of the birds and life
    Birds get so much into a small bit of time


  10. ayala Says:

    Singing birds….nice write…


  11. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Moon…

    I like that painting too…it wasn’t terribly detailed, and perhaps the simplicity of it is what is good about it.

    Thank you for reading and your comment also about the poem.



  12. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you Ayala,
    for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


  13. barbara Says:

    “A night like last should be wrapped in tissue” this line is priceless…a whole lifetime in one night is how i see it…locked in a trunk…as quiet birds swarm over head…beautiful piece…thank you for your delicate writing..bkm


  14. Claudia Says:

    oh what an excellent capture of a moment between dream and wake – the quiete birds – you changed them into metaphors and how beautifully


  15. Olivia Says:

    What a beautiful painting lady!

    I loved your poem.. I too love watching those pigeons; have written enough about them already.. Beautiful chirping words!

    Many hugs xx


  16. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Olivia,
    Thank you, sweetie, for the praise. I have to get back to painting again. Writing can detour something you really love.

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo


  17. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Claudia!

    You know how that particular moment that you are talking about? How it gives this clarity or creativity right before you are fully awake? I think there is a particular brain activity but I don’t know what it is formally called.

    Thank you, Claudia, for reading and leaving such a kind comment.

    Lady Nyo


  18. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Barbara!

    Thank you for reading and leaving such a delightful comment.

    Lady Nyo


  19. Eric Says:

    “Quiet, birds!” I’ve been saying that every morning, around 5 a.m., ever since the weather started warming up around here.

    Watch out for that murder of crows! LOL!


  20. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Eric!
    I only recently found out that “Murder of Crows” meant a large grouping of crows….LOL!

    And crows are some of my favorite birds: intelligent, too intelligent actually…LOL!

    Thank you for reading and your comment, Eric.

    Lady Nyo


  21. bluebee Says:

    Love this imagery – “Words, whole paragraphs,
    Circle my head, then Flap off in a thunder of wings.” I don’t think the tokaji starved the imagination much, Lady Nyo! Love your painting of those busy little nuthatches 🙂


  22. ladynyo Says:

    LOL@ Bluebee!

    Well, tokaji can do a lot of things, and perhaps it’s the after effects that hurt! LOL!

    I love nuthatches, too…those little birds are only here a few weeks and then…where?

    Thank you, Bluebee for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


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