001 - Copy (3)

churr-churr!  he calls to me as I pick up

my morning paper; again he sings to me

in the afternoon as I begin my daily walk;

a twitter of friendship, kinship in this greening

world of spring;


or maybe not—perhaps a simple warning

to keep my distance from the nest he and his lady  

friend have crafted for their soon-to-be

red-bellied young;



or perhaps he doesn’t notice me at all,

just churr-churrs his two-word poem

for the simple joy of being alive, the brilliance

of his red head shining his delight,

inviting me to sing, churr-churr

with him the sparkling of a world drowned

in a sea of colors spinning out the springtime

hope we share;


hope for tiny feathered souls;

hope for secret nestlings brooding midst the darker

secrets of our hearts; hope for children tented

in crowded camps, tweeting needs and fears against

the noise that shrouds the colors of their world,

colors that yet push out through cracks

in concrete walls, push up through all the carnage

of our wars, colors churr-churring hope that springs

insistent, firm, across our sordid, wearied world.


8 thoughts on “churr-churr

  1. This poem did not end up where I thought it would which makes it a very good poem.

    This poem reminded me of Barbara Crooker’s poetry that often begins with a simple, seemingly benevolent image, and then takes a darker turn to acknowledge the world outside the image she sees in front of her and — at the SAME time — staying in the present moment. This is not easy to accomplish in a poem without sounding preachy. One bird, one companion, their souls, one heart, one soul, one world, a world of souls trying to stay rooted in churr-churring hope.

    This is one of your best poems. You know me. I don’t write that gratuitously. Thank you for the gift of it.

  2. Also the onomatopoeia of the “churr-churr” works beautifully. Is it telling us the world is cold? Is it telling us, as Hopkins wrote, that “the world is charged with the grandeur of God”? Perhaps your red-bellied messenger is reminding us that “the Holy Ghost over the bent/World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.”

    Gosh I just love “churr-churr” as the title and anchor word in your poem. I also think it’s perfect to keep the first letters uncapitalized because most often the spirit of the world isn’t a loud clang as much as it is a soft whisper. Again, this is an extraordinarily successful poem.

  3. Sharonimo, thanks so much for your affirming comments. They mean a lot to me, coming from my poetry mentor! As one always hopes when one writes, my words seem to have taken on a life of their own, and you have perceived things that I hadn’t imagined, but your perceptions now enlarge my own sense of all that might be going on in the poem. I did so enjoy (and continue to enjoy my feathered friend’s churr-churring each day), and writing the poem (and re-writing and re-writing it) was a joy–made me feel so connected to a bigger world, a bigger life.

  4. You are very welcome, Carol. Acknowledging that your words “seem to have taken on a life of their own,” is the wisdom of an artist, a poet who has the courage to “let go” and let the muses or the Spirit use you as an instrument. You are a very strong, very wise artist. Sit with that.

  5. Thank you both – Sharon for your wonder-filled insights into the poetry and my friend Carol for writing it with so many layers of meaning – best to you my friend…and to your friend Sharon!! You are both gifts!

  6. Thank you Friend. Add one more gift to your “you are both gifts”–you, too, are such a wonderful gift, in my life and in the lives of so many others! As I went for my walk this afternoon, my little friend churr-churred me once again, and I found myself smiling all over!

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