Monday, June 17, 2019

Take Care of the Birds (a Poem)


If you take care of the birds, you take care of most of the big problems in the world.               - Biologist Thomas Lovejoy

My advice to pastors
and others who care 
too much is this
hang a bird feeder
outside your office window.

Check its contents
every morning, upon
your arrival.  Do this first - 
before you wake the sleeping
computer or tend to voicemail's
flashing, red light. 

Fill it, as needed, before 
the day's work begins.  

Look up, often, 
from behind 
your computer's screen.

Offer the window-facing
chair to the worried ones
with whom you meet. 

The bluebirds, finches,
and wrens will come; 
the male cardinal,
astonishing, in his 
red, velvet coat.

The fat squirrel will
also come. 

Observe your spirit,
as you observe the birds.

Pay attention as you alternate
between admiring the squirrel's  
clever, clenching claws
and despising his endless,
gorging feast. 

If what the biologist says
is true, it's worth it, isn't it -
this time spent to scatter
seed, to tend the feeder 
of your soul?