I Once Loved A Northern Mockingbird: dVerse ~ Poets Pub

Life sings to us. We don’t always hear it. Sometimes when we do, it’s too short, fleeting. We want it back. Love is the same way…

dVerse Poets Pub invites poets to wander around in words to a theme – and this week it is: a narrative poem and mockingbird.


I Once Loved A Northern Mockingbird

I said I loved the warbling.
I even went so far
As to look up what kind of bird it was on the Internet.

And when I found out
What it was,
I ran outside to greet it.

Good morning, Northern Mockingbird!
Good morning.
Where are you? Where are you, singing to me?

There you are! In the Spruce Pine,
almost to the top.
Hi, my full-throated friend.

And then he sang again.
And again.
I read he could sing fifteen different sweet melodies.

But I swear I heard more.
I heard classical,
And rap, rock and

The buzz of jazz;
And in the late evening
As I’d come home worn from work,

He sang me delta blues.
He woke me up in country.
He moved my soul in gospel,

He warbled like a hillbilly
Foot-stepping to bluegrass,
He wore a straw hat.

He sang me love songs,
And songs about railroad heroes.
He crooned, I swear, like

Frank Sinatra.
He boogied to the swing of big bands.
Once, I heard him sing in

Barber shop quartet harmonies,
I even heard him whisper lullabies that I hadn’t heard
Since childhood.

And then he wasn’t there.
Do you know what wasn’t there is like?
I was left, deafened

By a new silence.
A discordant tinnitus.
One that plays rhapsodies

Of a soiled reality.
Cars, planes,
The whoosh of the world rushing to go nowhere.

I wish I had named him,
Because I want to be here today intoning
My own fifteen different keening refrains like,

How are you today, James?
How is your day going, Elian?
I miss you, Moe.

Sing to me.
Sing once more.
Stay a while longer, Morgan.


Randy Mazie


26 thoughts on “I Once Loved A Northern Mockingbird: dVerse ~ Poets Pub

    • That second sentence, “Do you know…” was my take my breath away moment in writing that poem.
      I don’t know if you have those moments, but when they slip out from me I am taken by them.
      Sorry to be publicly self-indulgent about that – but I felt like sharing it.

  1. I love to hear bird song in the morning. Not much of it yet; too cold for most of the song birds to be here. Another month maybe, and then we’ll have a chorus. Nicely written, Randy.

  2. That was some mockingbird! I didn’t even know him and I miss him. I absolutely love this line: “Do you know what wasn’t there is like?” That line describes so much of our human existence. One day someone or something is there, and the next it wasn’t. With that one question you brought to mind and heart a vivid reminder of what it is like. Peace, Linda

  3. There’s so much here. All the different styles of music that you are hearing….life’s tunes….and then they are gone. Left only with the rushing — the mechanical — the “built” — “soiled reality”.
    Was this mocking bird who sang in so many ways, a love of life that somehow disappeared?
    I’m “moving on” from this piece….pondering….and that’s a good thing.

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