An English In Kentucky



















September 23rd 2009

resin04.jpg (29808 bytes)

    Mockingbird imagination has entered winter, and there are a few too many Mockingbirds. 

    Some will have to pioneer new territory, otherwise there will be an insufficiency of space for winter harmony.  I could look for cooperation and sharing, but from their calls and their quarrelling I understand there will be no such politics of frustration for them.  Battle lines are drawn, there will be winners and there will be losers because each believes he will not lose.

   Soon I will know the Close Mockingbird.  He will dominate the house and its Maple trees.  And soon I will know the Far Mockingbird.  He will dominate the far side of the barn where cedar grows with sumac.  The others will travel to places which are less familiar.  Perhaps find new homes, perhaps raise their heads again to old songs as they learn new songs.

   Such observations mean that I call Mockingbirds by their address, not by an association with them as individuals.  But of those Mockingbirds quarrelling today, there is one I can call by his voice.  



    He sits deep in the Ornamental Almonds, and when the quarrelling begins he does not join the debate, rather he shuffles the leaves of the Almond bush and he rasps like an irate Wren, then flits to the Cherry tree where he does the same.  Which may or may not be brilliant strategy in what is a battle for land.   

    Mockingbirds I believe sing for the joy of it, so probably by tomorrow he will be tempted to fly up there to dance and chase with the others, and I will no longer know him amongst the multitude of voices and movement.  But this does not stop me from firmly hoping he becomes the Close Mockingbird.  

    And why this is I am not sure because when I passed the Cherry tree this morning, his rasping gave me a fright that spilled my cup of coffee, set the heart to unnatural exercise, and set the mind to thoughts of the final curtain.

    Now I am stuck with the memory of him, and the possibility that his unique strategy will fail.  He will be chased away into the peripheries, where he will be lonely without me to alarm.  Nor will I ever know whether he does become the Close Mockingbird, so I must think of him as belonging to something greater than one.  

    Then if I survive the winter to hear the rasp of a Wren from something dancing amongst Spring blooms of Almond and Cherry, I can become an old fool and I can pretend to recognize him and we can congratulate each other.

resin05.jpg (32050 bytes)

tim candler

Previous  Next


(Mockingbird songs