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Location: Midwest, United States

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Mourning Dove

I have a soft spot in my heart for mourning doves. Always have.
I can’t put my finger on it...just why I have this affection. Perhaps it’s the smoky soft plumage, its graceful and delicate silhouette. Certainly their murmuring coos at dusk are most appealing. There is nothing harsh, nothing bold or sinister or dramatic about the mourning dove. This dove is more a soothing presence, a winged whisper.

I’m blessed to have a nesting pair ensconced outside my balcony. I stroll past my patio door and find one or both perched on the railing. Almost within reach they sit, yet forever beyond my grasp. I’m filled with a quiet happiness when I see them. I am comforted when they sing to me.

Today my friend came and kept me company as I sipped my morning coffee. My mind drifted to a “poem” I penned a few years ago. Don’t misunderstand; the term “poem” is, well, an abject exercise in poetic license on my part. I wasn’t trying to wax poetic when I wrote this piece. I was trying to describe what I witnessed one summer day as
I watched a pair of doves at a time when my heart was shattered. It seems fitting, somehow, that a dove came to remind me today about the sorrows and vagaries of love...

The Mourning Dove

I saw him outside my bedroom window
Perched quietly on the telephone line
A soft grey silhouette against the azure sky

Was he sleeping?
No, he sat prayerfully...expectantly...
Innocent face turned to the summer breeze

Silently she alit
A mere wing length away
His feathers danced in greeting

He sidled one step closer
She sidled one step back
Both sat and faced each other

He turned his back to the zephyrs
She turned, and both turned back again…
A high-wire avian pas de deux!

He preened and turned, she followed suit
Then, with neither sound nor warning
She soared skyward towards the distant sun

He tucked his head beneath his wing
Feathers rippling in the freshening wind
A silent wraith framed by the darkening sky

* * *


Blogger flutter said...


Tue May 20, 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger rebecca said...

oh, they are beautiful, aren't they? and the way their wings whistle in flight! and that gorgeous descriptive dance of the two you depicted in your was is the picture.

Wed May 21, 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

That, to me, is the appeal of the morning dove. They seem to feel genuine emotion; perhaps even more so than a great many humans.

Wed May 21, 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Sunny Delight said...

Hmmm, it seems our thoughts have followed a similar pattern these past few days...

"...a winged whisper." I like that, each time I hear their coo, it is a whisper out of time for me...and a whisper in time as I must always stop what I am doing to fully embrace the feelings engendered.

Thu May 22, 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

I've seen pics of these doves but this week I saw my firsy pair in my driveway! I'm hoping they decide to take up residence.. Would love to capture images of them!

Fri May 23, 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Smiler said...

That photo is heartbreaking for some reason — I think it's something to do with the coloring of the feathers on a cold winter day, and yes, that silhouette and fragile-looking head and beak — and then I got to your poem (yes yes, I did call it a poem because that's what it is)... You have such a beautiful sensibility, I'm thankful you're sharing it with us here.

Fri May 23, 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Oh, you Dear Hearts, you please me so! I'm glad to see so many of you hold mourning doves in as high regard as I. They are most endearing creatures.

As for poems and poets, well, I lurk in the deepest of shadows falling far behind the likes of a Mary Oliver, May Swenson or Pablo Neruda. I'll always be a shadow-dweller as long as poets such as these roam the earth and pen their beautiful thoughts...

Sat May 24, 03:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love them too. There is a softness, a peacefulness about them. I feel very contented when I hear them. Such a lovely poem.

Tue May 27, 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Lone Chatelaine said...

Pretty words :)

I love mourning doves too. I have about a dozen pairs of them living in the trees around my house. I put out food for them every day. They're so cute the way they waddle around, and I love to hear their mournful cooing.

Nice blog you've got here. I stumbled across it during a google image search.

Mon Jun 23, 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I'll raise a glass to serendipity, Lady C.! I'm glad you stumbled into my little corner of the world (if only for the imagery).

Ah, mourning doves, such gentle creatures. My nesting pair now tends to a fledgling. My balcony is a happy place indeed.

I visited your blog, too. The similarities are rather striking.
(Birds of a feather and all that, I guess...)

Mon Jun 23, 08:12:00 PM  

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