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Lakeside Bird Feeder, First Day
D. R. James


It should’ve taken only that scouting,
squawking jay to get the word out.
Framed in a pane, on a perch,
he was posed, a post card, puffed
against the brittle cold. His stylish
scarf feathers flicked an impatient face,
and his scruffy topknot signaled
who knew who in the neighborhood:
“Easy Supreme and Sunflower Mélange
swinging free off this deck!” See, he’d need
some wirier guys to stir it up, to urge
the tiny silo to flowing so he could
swoop in, scoop out the run-off: “Anyone
game enough to give it a go?” But, no.
And now, not a single soul for supper.


From A Little Instability without Birds (Finishing Line Press, 2006).
Used here with permission.


D. R. James, retired a year-plus from nearly 40 years of teaching college writing, literature, and peace studies, lives, writes, bird-watches, and cycles with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan. His latest of ten collections are Mobius Trip and Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2021, 2020), and his prose and poems have appeared internationally in a wide variety of print and online anthologies and journals. Learn more about D. R. at




Post New Comment:
Wonderful alliteration and images!
Posted 12/03/2023 02:42 AM
Very descriptive, entertaining piece
Posted 12/02/2023 08:53 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I loved this charming, witty, wry poem. The alliteration makes music and the description is cinematic. It captures the personality of the jay perfectly. Favorite line: And now, not a single soul for supper.
Posted 12/02/2023 05:24 PM
Expert use of language and fine imagery. Very nice.
Posted 12/02/2023 03:27 PM
Lori Levy:
Great images and humor.
Posted 12/02/2023 01:28 PM
A pleasure to read this poem with such expert and creative use of words. Love the whole story!!!
Posted 12/02/2023 12:45 PM
Leslie Hodge:
I agree with Michael, wonderful use of language
Posted 12/02/2023 10:50 AM
Master of alliteration and interlinear rhyme for sure! Nicely done, Mr. James.
Posted 12/02/2023 08:39 AM
Larry Schug:
I like the insights into watching birds. Well said.
Posted 12/02/2023 08:03 AM

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