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January 23, 2015: Poultry Reading

Once a bad student, always a bad student. Went to writing group meeting and did the unpardonable – wrote the following poem as others were sharing their work. This was because Pete had forgotten to give me the print copies he had in his backpack.

I had been working on this poem since this morning, while pen cleaning. The title came to mind first, then the idea of writing about what chickens think, past, present, and future. Chickens are in the present because they don’t have any place else to go.


The second part, about reading poetry to poultry, came as some of my cohorts were reading what they’d written in advance of this meeting. Some of these things were extremely lengthy. I’m adept at coming up with feedback very quickly, especially if I have a chance to reread what’s just been read. And my comments were very insightful.

I didn’t get any useful feedback today, most likely because I didn’t have copies of this poem on hand. I also read with conviction, and sometimes that makes people think the work is better than it actually is. I’m now thinking that this is quite paltry. Nevertheless, I sure do love Sophie, Chickaroo, and Freebird.

Poultry Reading

Chickens squatting on the rim of the roost box,
fed, watered, rebedded all three.

Chickens past, unaware:
                        Food eaten by scores of mice,
                        feathers ruffled by chill winds,
                        bedding consumed by voracious goats.

Chickens present:
Sitting on unfertilized eggs,
squabbling over a squash wind,
shitting in their water bowl.

Chickens future, unaware:
                        of the ermine lurking outside the coop,
                        or the proximity of the stewpot, filled with water, carrots, potatoes,
                        or the forecast, rain and snow mixed, predicted.

I decided to write these birds a poem,
in a clear voice, taking the stance of one,
who in a former life was an orator.

“Chicken, chicken,” it began,
“poetry is the voice of the soul,
and the voice of the soul,
should be music to your ears.”

Do chickens have ears?

I have never seen nary a lobe,
but they must hear me,
for the blink of an eye,
has to mean something,
even to poultry who nothing,
                        about poetry.

Next: 24. 1/24/15: Why Did the Chicken cross the Road?

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