the hatchlings were just three days
old when the storm came, a tempest
that downed trees, swelled creeks,
cresting river banks and dams, poor
phoebe babies, it was too much, too
soon, the eave above their nest too
narrow to protect them, their parents
helpless to intervene…to dust they have
returned, before their first flight, the flutter,
the cool lift of air beneath their wings…
nature is magnificent, but it can seem
cruel, life goes on, scavengers are fed,
the nest abandoned, no time to mourn…

it was only a few days passing before
the bonded phoebe pair surveyed a safer
nesting place, slopping mud-dipped moss,
twigs and grass on a back porch lamp,
days of primping, packing, pruning to
try again, heeding the call of instinct, the
cycle of life, of death, of life, to welcome
a new brood of hatchlings into the harsh,
beautiful, magnificent world where nature
provides and takes away with drops of
rain…at least for today, the sun is shining


A glimpse into life in the Blue Ridge foothills. I’m spending a lot more time here sheltering in with nature surrounding me. Most days I love it, the sunrises and sunsets, the wildlife, birdsong and spectacular greening, this, my first spring here. And then there are times when the bough breaks…it reminds me of my own fragility. A time to be born and a time to die. What happens in between, the moments are there to inspire me if I’m paying attention. Peace ♾

9 responses to “instinct

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