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The Happy, Then Sad, Backyard Bird Feeder


Publius’ backyard birdfeeder
was a happy place,
the feathery friends would frolic about
and share in Publius’ Plenty.

Daring taunting Olympic Squirrels
would boldly steal their share;
Proud Publius in retaliation would
shoo them off with well-aimed BBs
to miss but also dismiss.

One day his aim was poor
and with a new CO2 to boot;
the squirrel limped away in pain.
Publius was struck to the core
and never shot again.

But a far worse matter was a-brewing
Brown-headed cowbirds came more and more
to bully away the others
like female hyenas on the prowl.

Far worse still, these vile relatives of
the wasps in Chapter three
are also fast friends with Shaka;
so the proud feathery natural parents
abandon their young to die
and frantically feed the imposter instead.

So Publius had to cease the flow of seed.

The hungry birdlets’ desperate starving plaintive chirpings
tortured Publius’ heart and mind
like the Aztecs and Crafty Carthaginians working together
but so so sadly it had to be done.

Publius shed hot green tears.

Before getting all Hot and Bothered,
first we must stop playing God.

Note: “Publius” is the pen name under which this entire experimental series was initially drafted, and which has been left in place for this chapter for purposes of alliterative reinforcement of the metaphor between the bird feeder and the Public’s earth and the idea of good intentions going wildly awry. (Sheer laziness may be an ancillary motivation, too). The letter in the Appendix also uses this pen name.

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