SiStan ChapLee

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The 7 Days of CryAction 5: 795-865

Galleria Sabauda, Torino

Deep differences distinguish
birds in size and shape
and colors and customs
with hundreds of habits.
Let us omit the many with
[800] split or linked feathers
or enveloped in leather
or unusually soft—and
consider clean and unclean.
The clean kinds, the meek,
feed on herb and seed;
the unclean are killers
fond of flesh and blood
hence hook-bills and claws
as weapons and swifter
[810] wings so as to grip
and break the bones.
The latter form no flock
but are solitary snipers;
they only make mating
for the sake of offspring.
The former do flock
keen on company, though
absolutely not safe
from predators pillaging.
[820] Among these the doves
with natural necklaces
of shot silk and gold;
and cranes and starlings.
Some serve no empire
while live in liberty
under an ethnical ethos;
some rely on leaders
to be obeyed in battle;
some love their lands
[830] others fly far away
up to alien habitats
asking for a friendly sun
or arrive already much
before summer starts.
Thrushes in autumn come
back to beloved places
where inhospitable traps
are laid, or allured by
fool-catching cages
[840] or misled by mistletoe
or entangled in nets.
When storks are seen
Spring raises her flag.
Some are accustomed
to the hands of humans
and beak their bread.
Some are shy, others
twist nests on walls;
some, more unsociable
[850] live in loneliness.
A great variety of voices
becomes the birds
either talkative or not
either making music
or not; and noticeably
skilled in counterfeiting,
taught by Nature and art
some sing elasticly
while unlearned species
[860] produce perpetually
identical voice tones.
Rooster, peacock proud
dove slow and lustful
partridge perfidious
who helps the hunters.

(to be continued on Feb. 26)