Thursday, 5 September 2019

I choose to be

the weather has struck the perfect
creature comfort temperature ... and
I bask in the blade and leafy scent

the flora is gently animated in elfin breezes
that tickle down my bare arms …
like ripplets on rillets …
like the casting of a spell ... as befits
the clouds above ... which reveal
their own folk tale ... in white

yesterday came and went ... and left
bad news to roll over and over and over
until ... I heard a chickadee whistling
its distinctive 'Hey Sweetie' call … a lilting birdsong ...
which always signals the end of angst ...
at least for a time

and so … at least for a time … the hard rock
I have come to rest upon is commodious and soft …
the air I breathe is light and sweet … the woods are playing
the loveliest of music and … I choose to be happy

note: Chickadees have several calls that they employ for any number of reasons. Throughout most of North America the Black Capped Chickadee's 2 or 3 note 'fee-bee' call is also known as their 'Hey Sweetie' call. (If you listen for it, it really does sound a little like 'Hey Sweetie' ... you gotta REALLY listen for it, though ~ smiles ~ that is because it is a mnemonic device:  a pattern of sounds chosen to aid the memory in distinguishing one bird song from another.)

photo:  Snickett Park, Sechelt (H. Bourke)

© 2019 Wendy Bourke


  1. I like the idea of choosing to be happy. We have to try anyway, I think. A chickadee's song is a good reminder. I think we all need to find such reminders in our life -- whether it is puppy fur, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, a blooming flower, a glimpse of a white-tailed deer. Indeed bad news is all around, but somehow we have to find a way (on a daily basis) to try to rise above. Enjoyed this thought-provoking write, Wendy!

  2. When we have the luxury of choice, happiness is a grand option. Bird song does have a way of lifting the spirit.

  3. I find it comforting that a birdsong can lift ones spirit.

    Beautifully written and thanks for the information on the chickadee.

  4. Such a meaningful and yet delightful and joyful write, Wendy - a lovely reasd on this sunny Autumn afternoon, back in the UK.

  5. Yes, the cheerful call of a chickadee does much to offset our existential angst. Smiles. Yesterday we watched two oystercatchers trying to mate, quite a feat in the air. She called him from her nest, and he came to her with alacrity. I knew Dorian was hitting the east coast. But in that moment , life was persevering, as it does, against great odds.

  6. This is a lovely poem! It makes me want to join the lizards sunning themselves on the morning glory leaves, all of us just lying in the sun and enjoying the day. :)

  7. Thank you for this poem, Wendy. I love it, love it, love it... because I read my own feelings in it. The world is mess at the moment, but we can always choose to see (and feel) the good (even it they seem tiny). The choice isn't always easy, and that rock can harden again so quickly, but for a few seconds at least, we can have the song of a chickadee.

  8. Oh, that bad news! I love that the chickadee whistle ‘signals the end of angst’, even if only for a while.

  9. We can we take great comfort from the sounds of nature. I love the sign of the chickadee call.

  10. The structure of this really works for where you go in the poem, accumulating all of the details of paradise (I sure want your day, burning up here in Florida), breathing in the bad news with that good, resolving it as breath, with ellipses that allow things to smooth and be good -- because, as you say, you choose decide so. And so are we.

  11. I really love how you describe nature helping you with that choice... also it is the only way I think, to find that point despite all the bad news.

  12. What a delightful poem. Bird song does lift the spirits!

  13. I always think that if I am a bit down a walk outside and chat with nature is a real cure all.

  14. There is much in the choosing, true? There are so many things that are out of our control, but we can choose how we respond to them. Your poem is a great example of just those times of choosing. "the woods are playing the loveliest of music" yes...yes indeed.

  15. It sounds idyllic – a very pleasant contrast to our bushfire season already happening here in Australia. Lovely to spend time in your poem a little while, instead.