Friday, September 30, 2022

Birdtober Day One: Rooster

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I love that the first prompt of Birdtober this year is Rooster. Because let’s face it, no matter how we long for the new and exciting lifers, no matter how much we travel to exotic locations in search of rarities, the bird we see and hear most often is a chicken. When I make recordings of the birds in my neighborhood, there’s nearly always a rooster in the background. The same was true in Haiti, where the rooster — at all hours of the day and night — was the most iconic sound of all. For many years we lived near a cockfighting ring, and there was many a fighting rooster raised in our neighborhood. A beloved late friend whose job took him around the world used to say that one loud rooster followed him everywhere he went. 

And if you look at a rooster closely, you’ll see that it’s as beautiful as any other bird we seek. It’s just the commonness of it that blinds us to how amazing it is.

Sometimes people complain about the sound roosters make. Can you believe that? There have been several stories in the news in France about this over the past few years. I couldn’t find an outcome for the latest case, that of Pitikok. Holiday-makers eager to enjoy peace and quiet in a rural retreat took Pitikok’s owner to court because Pitikok was too noisy. The owner invoked the new law protecting the “sensory heritage” of the countryside from noise complaints. The most recent articles I could find said that Pitikok’s owner wanted to withdraw from the case because he had been receiving threats.

Can’t we all, birds and people, just get along?

Here’s my haiku about Pitikok and his noisy brethren. 

This daily alarm
Sound of countryside mornings
Will not be silenced


©Ruth Bowen Hersey


Thursday, September 29, 2022

Poetry Friday: Here Comes Birdtober!

Hello, Poetry Friday friends! It has been a while since I've managed to post anything for Poetry Friday. The last time was in July, and I just counted and discovered I've only posted twenty Poetry Friday posts in all of 2022. 

When I chose "Beginner" as my OLW for the year, little did I know I'd be drowning in beginnings again in the second half of 2022. My husband and I moved to another new country in August, and we're now living and working in the beautiful city of Kampala, Uganda. If you're thinking there must be a story there, you'd be right, and maybe some day I can tell it to you over a cup of tea. In the meantime, here I am, learning all the things, a Beginner again.

Counterintuitively, I have often found that an answer to being overwhelmed is to add something creative to the mix. So I'm going to try that, and see if it works this time. October will be starting on Saturday, and I think I'm going to attempt Birdtober again. It was one of the most fun things I did last year, and October 2021 was wilder than this year's is likely to get (I hope). Below you'll see the list of prompts I'm planning to use - there are several floating around, but this is from the same person whose list I used last year (you can see her site here), and I really like it. Birdtober is an offshoot from Inktober, and it's supposed to be for visual artists, but I wrote poems last year, and that's my intention this year also.

As always when I embark on one of these projects, I'm not committing to every day, but I hope to post quite a few of the days in October. And in the meantime, here's a link to all my Birdtober poems from 2021.

Tabatha has the roundup this week!