By Dan Gerber

A hundred quail on the grass outside my window,

and the dogs are a little upset,

and at least one hundred dove-

band-tailed pigeons-in the tree above,

and one crow complaining for all he’s worth,

about the world as it is right now.


I had a conversation with a coyote,

ambling along the road at dusk

while I was driving home last night.

I rolled down the window

and asked what kind of day he’d had,

and he just shrugged.

Or I thought he shrugged.


Later, as I walked

near a thicket of brooding young oaks,

a startled owl flew up

through the paler darkness of moonlight,

and the trailing feathers

of one of its wings

brushed my busy life into silence.

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