A Red-eared turtle
floating near in the water
sorry, no food here
stubby-tailed squirrel,
running across my porch rail,
still jumps rather well
two coots together
both try to eat food I throw
all couples argue
soft sounds of water
and the murmur of talking
both lap the wood deck
coots paddle above
grass carp swimming down below
between, float turtles
the vultures, sunning,
then together spiral up
the day has begun
adolescent bird
lands fluttering on the rail
hey buddy, some food?
grackle not yet grown
(but close), begs food from mama,
not for much longer
spider landing near,
my table is not the spot
only I eat here
squirrel boldly begs,
but only from them, not us;
we look too eager
family of three,
sitting peacefully but then,
a cockroach appears
rain cloud like a broom,
sweeps hill and lake clean, and then
sweeps us off the deck
riverside cafe
dog off its leash, watching birds
like we watch smartphones
turtle won't eat bread
but if I drop a napkin
yum yum, cellulose
granddaddy longlegs,
my daughter is not your spot
you leave quickly now
this riverbank grey,
that side of the river bright,
dappled in between
feather on water,
blown, moves like a living thing
into the river
coots on the water,
they look like two gothic ducks,
but sound like squeak toys
the great blue heron,
stands again among vultures
a returning king
big dogs lie and pant,
little dogs stand up and bark,
humans chat on phones
splashing in the water,
moves under it like a snake,
life and death unseen
dog at the cafe,
pastry, people, other dogs,
out of reach, alas!
small child looks at me,
flinches to see me look back,
masks hide smiles from view
grackle on the roof
has a lot to say, to mom,
mostly, 'feed me now'
trees by the river,
leaning out to catch the sun
like fans at a show
blue sky above us,
dogs, birds, and I look at it,
turtles close their eyes
two ducks flying low
crossing the lake together
quack the joy of flight
I've seen the turtles,
when kids see them the first time,
I see them again
the rain is coming
bringing life to mosquitoes
a poisoned blessing
fish splash in water,
men in boats, birds in the air,
the sounds of morning
two coots each morning,
but then, three small ones as well,
titmouse at window,
attacking its reflection,
never ever wins
The goose and coots talk,
the little boy says "quack, quack",
do they understand?
rain in December,
while ducks are all coupled up,
egrets stand alone
neither rain, nor sleet,
nor dark of night, shall keep me...
from getting coffee
'quack, quack,' says the boy,
'but I'm a coot,' thinks the coot,
small boys don't listen
lettuce grows a bit,
carrots grow a tiny bit,
weeds shoot straight upwards
seen from my window,
the showy evening primrose,
welcome back, cuties
little bee flying
buzzes o'er my laptop screen
finds no sweetness there
twelve dead loquat trees
all killed by winter frost
wait, look, new green leaves!
small bird chases big
defying all odds (or sense)
go get 'em, lil' guy
little hopping bird
bounces across the cafe
pastry crumb fueled
the turtles are back
or perhaps new turtles now
do even they know?
grackles squawk and eat
leftover queso and chips
Texas in summer
ripples on water,
breeze in the air above it,
chatting on the shore
immature grackles,
learning to prospect for food,
eye humans closely
"Tappy" the titmouse,
ever fighting my window,
you showed him, lil' guy
Ice and rain and sleet,
sending birds to birdfeeder,
wild cat to front door
on the birdfeeder,
Mr. and Mrs. housefinch,
enjoy a lunch date