Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Slice of Life Tuesday: NPM Spring Cleaning Day 13, Bird Mnemonics


This year for National Poetry Month, I am doing Spring Cleaning - writing about poetic tabs open on my desktop so that I can then close them and reduce my digital clutter. I have had this tab open on my desktop for almost a year! If you scroll down from the "Bird Mnemonics" part at the top, you'll see that last year's Progressive Poem was in process, and Christie Wyman was adding her line that day! 


The reason I kept this was that I was going to return to it. That's the reason I keep all these tabs open. In this case, I was going to go back and write about the bird sounds I hear here in Haiti, doing my own "Bird Mnemonics" poem like Christie's. A year ago, I could hardly recognize any bird sounds. I can now identify more than I could then, but I still have so far to go. And I'm glad for eBird and Merlin, where I can listen to bird sounds, because if I had to rely on these mnemonics I am sure I would never have learned any of the sounds.

I went to my bird book, Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and wrote down the way it describes the calls of some of the birds I see and hear the most, and then I wrote this, starting with two lines borrowed from Christie:


Bird Mnemonics in Haiti

I hear you.

But who are you?

Coo-oo, coo, coo, coo (sweet simple Mourning Doves)

Tzi-tzi-tzi-tzi, tziit-tzi (energetic Bananaquits whizzing about)

Tchip, tsip, tsweet, tseetsee tsee tsee tseeo, tseets tseeta tseeta tseet (theatrical American Redstarts)

Ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-kau-kau-ko-ko-tuc w-h-h-h (red-eyed Hispaniolan Lizard-cuckoo)

Wup ta-a, b-d-d-d-t (Hispaniolan Woodpecker)

Pi-au, chep (Black-crowned Palm Tanager)

"Strange, slurring, whistled call notes" (fierce gang of Palmchats)

"High-pitched, metallic squeaks, throaty buzz" (tiny Vervain Hummingbird, the size of a bumble bee)


And, from a distance, 

Culic calao calao (giant, aggressive White-necked Crow)

I hear your wonderful sounds

And I see you too!

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at https://timgels.com
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

And here's a roundup of some of the amazing, creative projects going on during NPM this year.


Mary Lee said...

Wow. I never thought about all the OTHER new languages I'd have to learn if I moved to a different country! Fascinating!

Christie Wyman said...

I'm thrilled, Ruth. This is lovely. I do wish our local birds could get together for an avian playdate.

Cathy said...

What a great way to capture the sounds of your backyard.

arjeha said...

How great that you can identify birds by sound. I lucky I can identify some by sight.

Linda B said...

Now you have me wondering if each kind of crow has a different call, or every kind of woodpecker. I know them here, but. . . I love your bird sounds, Ruth & the poem's ending about hearing & seeing. Fascinating. And I love that there's a hummingbird the size of a bee! I looked up the crow & the articles say they are endangered!

Julieanne said...

Now I have another tab open! I love the idea of collecting the sounds of birds. They are the most fascinating animals.

Michelle Kogan said...

Wonderful sound poem thanks for inviting me into your neighborhood to listen! I think this would make an enchanting picture book too!