Monday, July 22, 2013



From a perspective of a 4th floor Göteborg lägenhet/apartment,
I easily observe birds' behavior throughout the almost-24-hour sunshine.
Not previously much interested in ornithology, except for MN loons, 
I currently sit for several minutes, watching with curiosity and puzzlement.

Bird 1 sat perched upon a rooftop curved railing.
As Bird 2 sailed toward the same spot, 
Bird 1 moved to a second railing.
Bird 3 arrived, perched next to Bird 1,
Groomed Bird 1 until Bird 2 flew off,
At which point Bird 1 flew to the vacated spot,
Once agin achieving separate space.

Two seagulls stood near the peak of the metal roof,
Repeatedly bobbing their heads and bodies.
I tried to discern a pattern, a communication, 
A mimicking, to no avail, at least from my context.
One gull moved to a shaded spot behind a chimney.
The other bird continued to stand in the sunshine
Until, at last, also retreating from the relentless noon sun.

Gulls endlessly swoop into the courtyard formed by
An outer rectangle of six-story apartment buildings.
Most balconies face toward the courtyard, others toward the street.
The gulls caw, cry, scream, scold, shriek, meow, and cackle
From dawn until dusk, their cacophony startling me out of quiet moments.
Seagulls' vocal repertoire is wider than my much-beloved loons.

Attempting to reclaim my projections about the birds' behaviors,
Using the birds as a mirror for my reflected dances,
I see my relational gyrations; natural negotiations between 
Autonomy and dependence; valuing time with others, 
Balanced by time alone; emotional expressiveness, sometimes 
Careening out to panicked screams and grief-sticken cries.

Ann Beth Blake 
(c) July 22, 2013

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