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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015

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Elizabeth Howard
Crossville, Tennessee, USA


Question for Audubon

I first admired pileated woodpeckers in Audubon’s sketches. I never expected to see them in the wild, but was surprised and awed when we stopped for a picnic in the Smoky Mountains.

in the trees
along a rushing creek
Audubon's birds come to life—
their raucous calls
belying their beauty

Since we have moved to the Cumberland Plateau, we are frequently blessed by the florid birds, their cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk announcing their coming and going.

four fledglings
ushered to the suet feeder—
Audubon,
surely you did not
pull the trigger?


Author's Note: John James Audubon (1785-1851) was an ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. His major work, Birds of America, includes detailed illustrations of more than 400 birds in their natural habitats. To draw the birds, he shot them and used wires to prop them in a natural position.

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