22 July 2010


Sophia Sophia Sophia
flashing red yellow beast
pirate bird
run across the top of your cage
to screech at doves on a wire
I wonder
if the windows rattle
as deep as the nerve in my soul
that knows you need to be free,
knows you need to be wild,
knows it’s too late,
you’re a wild animal
living in a cage in my house
screaming at freedom

at night you whisper
I love you smooth as rain
that slides down glass

Sadie Sadie Sadie
hanging from a bar
across the top of your
habitat you flap
blue gold wings,
folded behind your back
with a repetitive
aaaah aaaaaah aaaaaah

life with John
keeper number one
wife came
children came
you became
I wonder if you miss John
who took you in the yard
near the Missouri River and
let you fly to the tops of Ponderosa
I wonder if you miss John
when you hang your mantra
from that black metal pole
moaning behind plexiglass
for my viewing pleasure

The Poet’s United prompt for Thinking Thursday is sound. In my house, sound and birds go hand-in-hand. I took advantage of the prompt to write about two of the birds that live with us. To read a kyrielle I wrote about Sophia, click on the “sophia” label below this post.

I also wrote this piece to get this message out: Stop purchasing parrots. They deserve better than us. We purchased Sophia six years ago from PetCo when they told us she was moving to another PetCo as she had a deformed toe, and they could not sell her. We had been visiting her there for 3 or 4 months. Her toe has since fallen off, and she’s fine. We inherited Sadie last year. Living with these birds can be extremely aggravating. I’m sure life for them is extremely aggravating.

If you want a parrot, adopt one that is no longer wanted. There are estimated to be over 100,000 unwanted parrots living in the United States alone. We don’t want ours many days. I feel guilt and sorrow for these beautiful creatures. We love them, and do the best that we can for them, but they don’t belong in houses.

….another cautionary note? Feeding them is expensive.

Leave them be, don’t bring more in, and if you are a breeder of exotic creatures like this….you need to take a good hard look at what you are doing. I’m just saying.


Systematic Weasel said...

It is sad, how many unwanted animals there are in this world. I adopted my dog five years ago, from the SPCA. An elderly couple didn't want him anymore, so the SPCA kept him, but he was already 5 years old (which is the age limit for them to be put down if they are not adopted by that age). We adopted him the day before he was going to be put to sleep, and he is the best dog in the world. A wonderful post! I've got a friend who also adopted an unwanted parrot from another couple, and she loves him. Great post!


Gordon Mason said...

Brenda, I'm just reading the poem not the explanation etc. As a poem, I like the repetitive names in the first lines of the stanzas, the lines "I love you smooth as rain
that slides down glass", and the images of John and his actions.

brenda w said...

I agree Weasel...this poem makes me sad. Maybe I won't read it again. ha!
Gordon--the second stanza is my favorite. It's Sophia's whispers that bring some relief from my guilt at being her captor.

00dozo said...

I like and appreciate the poem in a bittersweet way. Sadly, many people get parrots, as well as other animals, merely for the novelty of owning somthing exotic. I would rather rescue and release them.

Jingle said...

the repetition of the words are fun to read.
lovely poem about sound!

brenda w said...

Oodozo, Nice to see you here...thanks for your comments. Sadly, if we released either of our macaws they would die. They've lived the life oh human pets...

Jingle..glad you like the repetition.

Robert Lloyd said...

How can beauty be so sad? Your poem paints a gorgeous picture that comes from an awful price. Its almost a guilty read for me. I love the flow and the color and the wonderful description of sounds and then I feel sad knowing at the reason it has come to be is because of society’s ignorance and selfishness. You did a wonderful job with such a sad subject. Thank you for sharing.

flaubert said...

Brenda this beautiful and sad at the same time!
We have a loro parrot because my husband wanted him. I had never owned a bird until we got him four years ago and he is delightful when music is on and he just sings along! I honestly never saw such disregard for animals until I came to Mexico. The people in Oaxaca think one way only and that is if the animals does not work then it is of no use whatsoever! So you can only imagine the amount of dogs on the streets we still have one that I rescued from the street when she was a pup and she has been with us for almost nine years now! Sorry to go on and on!

brenda w said...

Robert- I feel guilt, too, obviously, I guess. It's hard not to, Sophia runs across her cage, wings outstretched...testing them. She lets herself in and out of her cage. Other critters in the house realize that she is the boss. Thanks for your comments.

Pamela- Your rescued dog is blessed to have landed with you. Never apologize for going on and on. I like to hear other people's stories. Animals bring something out in some of us that's almost primal.

signed...bkm said...

Wonderful piece...yes, I agree, wild animals belong in the wild where they feel comfortable...we ask the same for ourselves...bkm

Anonymous said...

Fun and interesting! Freedom is the word and everyone have the right to get it, and that will include animals as well:D Thank for sharing!:P

Mary said...

Very fine poem, Brenda. My heart goes out to the caged birds!

Carrie Burtt said...

I love it!! A beautiful poem about freedom...done eloquently. Awesome poetry prompt! :-)