Bird Poem of the Week

“The Brown Pelican” by Titus

Treat him with honor and crown him king;
In graceful flight, the Brown Pelican is seen.
Over valley, over seas,
Gracefully gliding on morning breeze.
Reaching limit of lofty skies,
On and on the pelican flies.
And when upon returning to his nest,
He greets his mate and baby best.
King of Louisiana and master of it’s fowl,
He looks on them with royal scowl.
But bravely following his sacrificial laws,
When food gets scarce and baby caws,
With mighty love and overwhelming care,
He beaks his breast and becomes his young one’s share.
Treat him with honor and crown him king.
In graceful flight the Brown Pelican is seen

Week 26 “God’s Grandeur”
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is vare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs-
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
(by Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Week 25 “The Owl”
Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved;
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof
Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest
Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.

Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest,
Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.
All of the night was quite barred out except
An owl’s cry, a most melancholy cry

Shaken out long and clear upon the hill,
No merry note, nor cause of merriment,
But one telling me plain what I escaped
And others could not, that night, as in I went.

And salted was my food, and my repose,
Salted and sobered, too, by the bird’s voice
Speaking for all who lay under the stars,
Soldiers and poor, unable to rejoice.
(by Edward Thomas)

Week 24 “The Windhover” To Christ our Lord
I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in
his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl
and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,-the achieve of , the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
(by Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Week 23 “Written in March”
The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The ploughboy is whooping-anon-anon:
There’s joy in the mountains;
There’s life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!
(by William Wordsworth)

Week 22 “As Kingfishers Catch Fire”
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Act in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is-
Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
(by Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Week 21 “America”
If an eagle be imprisoned
on the back of a coin,
and the coin be tossed
into the sky,
the coin will spin,
the coin will flutter,
but the eagle will never fly.
(by Henry Dumas)

Week 20 “A Songbird”
I like to be a songbird;
God likes to hear me sing.
I like to sing His praises while
I do most anything!
I sing when I do dishes;
I sing when I do chores;
I sing when I’m at work outside
Or when I play indoors.
It makes me very happy
And helps me laugh and smile.
The next time you feel grouchy,
Just stop and sing awhile!

Week 19 “The Blue Jay”
Some folks are like the blue jay
Who comes to eat our seed,
But screams and drives off other birds
Who also come to feed.
Though he has pretty colors,
He spoils them by his greed.
I’d rather be like chickadees
Who share the things they need.

Week 18 “A Bird Came Down the Walk”
A bird came down the walk;
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise on the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,-
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.
(by Emily Dickinson)

Week 17 “Mockingbird”
Mockingbird, O mockingbird,
Bobbing on the wire,
Sing for me the songs you know;
Sing them hour by hour.
Tell me, slender bird of gray,
Who has taught you these?
Who smiles down upon you as
You sing into the breeze?
God, the Lord, has made your life.
He taught you to sing;
He is is who gives you breath,
Life, and graceful wing.

Week 16 “What Does Little Birdie Say?”
What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
“Let me fly,” says little birdie,
“Mother, let me fly away.”
“Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till the little wings are stronger.”
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
“Let me rise and fly away.”
“Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till the little limbs are stronger.”
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby, too, shall fly away.
(by Alfred Tennyson)

Week 15 “Flash of Red”
Flash of red,
Flash of blue-
Bright birds flying,
Who are you?
Once I see you
In your flight,
Then you’re gone
And hid from sight.
In the leaves
Of emerald green
Not a feather
Can be seen.
Flash of red,
Flash of blue-
Bright birds flying,
God sees you!

Week 14 “Bats”
A bat is born
Naked and blind and pale.
His mother makes a pocket of her tail
And catches him. He clings to her long fur
By his thumbs and toes and teeth.
And then the mother dances through the night
Doubling and looping, soaring, somersaulting-
Her baby hangs on underneath.
All night, in happiness, she hunts and flies.
Her high sharp cries
Like shining needlepoints of sound
Go out into the night and, echoing back,
Tell her what they have touched.
She hears how far it is, how big it is,
Which way it’s going:
She lives by hearing.
The mother eats the moths and gnats she catches
In full flight; in full flight
The mother drinks the water of the pond
She skims across. Her baby hangs on tight.
Her baby drinks the milk she makes him
In moonlight or starlight, in mid-air.
Their single shadow, printed on the moon
Or fluttering across the stars,
Whirls on all night; at daybreak
The tired mother flaps home to her rafter.
The others all are there.
They hang themselves up by their toes,
They wrap themselves in their brown wings.
Bunched upside-down, they sleep in the air.
Their sharp ears, their sharp teeth, their quick sharp faces
Are dull and slow and mild.
All the bright day, as the mother sleeps,
She folds her wings about her sleeping child.
(by Randall Jarrell)

Week 13 “The Bat”
By day the bat is cousin to the mouse.
He likes the attic of an aging house.
His fingers make a hat about his head.
His pulse beat is so slow we think him dead.
He loops in crazy figures half the night
Among the trees that face the corner light.
But when he brushes up against a screen,
We are afraid of what our eyes have seen:
For something is amiss or out of place
When mice with wings can wear a human face.
(by Theodore Roethke)

Week 12 “Who Stole the Bird’s Nest?”
To-whit! to-whit!to-whee!
Will you listen to me?
Who stole four eggs I laid,
And the nice nest I made?”
“Caw! Caw!” cried the crow.
“I should like to know
what thief took away
A bird’s nest today?”
“Cluck! Cluck!” said the hen,
“Don’t ask me again!
Why, I haven’t a chick
Would do such a trick.
“Chirr-a-whirr! chirr-a-whirr!
All the birds make a stir!
Let us find out his name,
And all cry, ‘For shame!”
A little boy hung down his head,
And went and hid behind the bed;
For he stole that pretty nest
From poor little Yellow-breast.
And he felt so full of shame,
He didn’t like to tell his name.
(by Lydia Maria Child)

Week 11 “Answer to a Child’s Question”
Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove,
The Linnet and Thrush say, ‘I love and I love!’
In the winter they’re silent- the wind is so strong;
What it says, I don’t know, but it sings a loud song.
But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,
And singing, and loving- all come back together.
But the Lark is so brimful of gladness and love,
The green fields below him, the blue sky above,
That he sings, and he sings: and for ever sings he-
‘I love my Love, and my Love loves me!’
(by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Week 10 “How Do Robins Build Their Nest”
How do robins build their nest?
Robin Redbreast told me.
First a wisp of yellow hay
In a pretty round they lay;
Then some shreds of downy floss,
Feather, too, and bits of moss,
Woven with a sweet, sweet song,
This way, that way and across;
That’s what Robin told me.

Where do Robins hide their nest?
Robin Redbreast told me.
Up among the leaves so deep,
Where the sunbeams rarely creep,
Long before the winds are cold,
Long before the leaves are gold,
Bright-eyed stars will peep and see
Baby robins -one, two, three;
That’s what Robin told me.
(by George Cooper)

Week 9 “There Once Was a Puffin”
Oh, there once was a Puffin
Just the shape of a muffin,
And he lived on an island
In the bright blue sea!
He ate little fishes,
That were most delicious,
And he had them for supper
And he had them for tea.
But this poor little Puffin,
He couldn’t play nothin’,
For he hadn’t anybody
To play with at all.
So he sat on his island,
And he cried for awhile, and
He felt very lonely,
And he felt very small.
Then along came the fishes,
And they said, “If you wishes,
You can have us for playmates
Instead of for tea!
So they now play together,
In all sorts of weather,
And the puffin eats pancakes
Like you and like me.

(by Florence Page Jaques)

“The Muffin” by us
There once was a Muffin
Just the shape of a puffin
And he lived on an island in the bright, blue sea
He had milk for breakfast and he had milk for luncheon
And he had milk for dinner and he had milk for tea!

Week 8…”The North Wind”
The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will the robin do then, poor thing?
He’ll sit in a barn,
And keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing, poor thing!

The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will the swallow do then, poor thing?
Oh, do you not know
That he’s off long ago,
To a country where he will find spring, poor thing!

The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will the children do then, poor things?
When lessons are done,
They must skip, jump and run,
Until they have made themselves warm, poor things!
(by Anonymous)

Week 7: “Something Told”
Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, -“Snow.”
Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, -“Frost.”
All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
at remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly,-
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.
(by Rachel Field)

Week 6: “The Eagle”
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
(by Alfred Lord Tennyson)

And another, just for fun…”The Ostrich”
The ostrich is a silly bird,
With scarcely any mind,
He often runs so very fast,
He leaves himself behind.
And when he gets there, has to stand
And hang about till night,
Without a blessed thing to do
Until he comes in sight.
(by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman)

Week 5: “Hope is the Thing With Feathers”
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune with the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
(by Emily Dickinson)

Week 4 “The Last Word of a Bluebird”
As I went out a Crow
In a low voice said, “Oh,
I was looking for you.
How do you do?
I just came to tell you
To tell Lesley (will you?)
That her little Bluebird
Wanted me to bring word
That the north wind last night
That made the stars bright
And made ice on the trough
Almost made him cough
His tail feathers off.
He just had to fly!
But he sent her Good-by,
And said to be good,
And wear her red hood,
And look for skunk tracks
In the snow with an ax-
And do everything!
And perhaps in the spring
He would come back and sing.”
by Robert Frost

Week 3: “No Shop Does the Bird Use”
No shop does the bird use,
no counter nor baker,
but the bush is his orchard,
the grass is his acre,
the ant is his quarry,
the seed is his bread,
and a star is his candle
to light him to bed.
by Elizabeth Coatsworth

Week 2: “The Frog and The Bird”
By a quiet little stream on an old mossy log,
Looking very forlorn, sat a little green frog;
He’d a sleek speckled back, and two bright yellow eyes,
And when dining, selected the choicest of flies.

The sun was so hot he scarce opened his eyes,
Far too lazy to stir, let alone watch for flies,
He was nodding, and nodding, and almost asleep,
When a voice in the branches chirped: ‘Froggie, cheep, cheep!’

‘You’d better take care,’ piped the bird to the frog,
‘In the water you’ll be if you fall off that log.
Can’t you see that the streamlet is up to the brim?’
Croaked the froggie: ‘What odds! You forget I can swim!’

Then the froggie looked up at the bird perched so high
On a bough that to him seemed to reach to the sky;
So he croaked to the bird: ‘If you fall, you will die!’
Chirped the birdie: ‘What odds! You forget I can fly!’
(by Vera Hessey)

Week 1: “Overheard in an Orchard”
Said the robin to the sparrow,
“I would really like to know
Why those anxious human beings
rush around and worry so.”

Said the sparrow to the robin,
“Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
such as cares for you and me.”
(by Elizabeth Chaney)


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