Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Jill L. Ferguson

Backyard Sinfonietta


At the break of day
as the golden fireball
ascends over the Bay
I fill the feeder:
syrupy sweet water for the hummers,
safflower seeds for the songbirds,
suet for the downy headed woodpecker,
black oil sunflowers for the chickadees,
and nyjen for the goldfinches.


Titmouse crested, gray and white
ducks his head and beak
pecking an invisible bug
up and down, up and down
like a pianist playing staccato.


Squirrels chatter from oak trees
waiting for me to go inside
so they can scamper down
and steal a treat,
peanuts put out for them alone.


Steller's jays and scrub jays
squawk discordant notes
causing smaller feathers,
scared, to scatter.


Gray doves perch on the rooftop
blue eyes moving to and fro,
cooing a lyric opera
mourning, melodiously mourning
their wretched romance.


One Wilson's warbler,
the cantor of the group
emits bel canto
to a packed-house audience
that only she can see.


Chirps, cheeps, squawks
and coos, all together,
following a universal conductor
until the golden orb sleeps,
filling my yard
with a harmonic symphony.

©2006 by Jill L. Ferguson

Jill L. Ferguson is a poet, novelist, journalist, professor, and public speaker. Her first fiction book, Sometimes Art Can't Save You, was published in October 2005, by In Your Face Ink. She chairs the General Education Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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