Birds in the Brain

Where I live, right by the wide and soothing Hudson, for thirty years, I have been resolutely observing sparrows, robins, crows, hawks and eagles with the occasional dramatic dash of cardinal and blue jay…In the eighties and nineties, I closely witnessed compelling battles between cawing gangs of crows and the two haughty hawks who came every year, when the weather was cool but warming. Thirty, forty crows would hover where one or both hawks seemed to be settling and make a frightful, black, biting noise, flitting around the tree or telegraph pole, as if to very soon obliterate the raptor regulars.Then one of the hawks would simply flap its wings almost casually and all the crows would scatter like weak terrorists…Yet I love the crows, who make the big squawking, and do that exact thing to tell the other beaked gangsters where the food is they just found. They are a sharing lot, flying sheep in wolf’s clothing – they are kind dinosaurs after all.Lamented half of March not seeing any hawks let alone eagles of late – I’ve spent a little time with half a dozen eagles over the decades, cruising in a military manner at my eye level on my hill above the river. The cats were ordered inside. These eagles are epiphanies for me every time one flies by…Now, I am lonely without the little Shirdi birds on my run and looking forward to Spring and the vernal equinox, my birthday ha ha…Voila, hello the 15th, the Ides of March,a smidgeon warmer than any this year, loud enthusiastic adolescent birds in threes in trees…And, LO, just ten seconds after I had a flash of a sadness – a where-have-all-the-hawks-gone thought form/complaint – a fucking fabulous swooping hawk suddenly hovering securely above the spaceship apartment building on Palisade Avenue, exclamation mark…Spring sprang above and beyond the chilly air and the grey Hudson and the carpets of long dead leaves, bleached and final.Birthfrom the Mother, again.Sweet creation of the diamond sutra life.March 16th 2014