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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 4, December 2012


Doris Lynch
Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A.

The Power of Common Song

Back from the warbler conference, I sit in the sunroom and play birdcalls on my computer, observing the miracle whites, blacks and greys—the ascending and descending bars of music graphed upon the screen. Over and over I play a house sparrow’s song until a neighboring male outside takes umbrage and rails back. For a few minutes, we share an aggressive duet, I, clicking my fingers, the bird with his twin voice boxes hammering my territory, my territory. My long dead bird’s voice battles back from a bird heaven replete with insect breezes and acres of tremulous seeds. After these brave birds have sparred, an uncertain silence prevails. A minute later something thwacks into the window. To my neophyte birder’s chagrin, a startled sparrow recovers, totters a few steps on shaky legs, then sails away.

at sunset
first glimmer of star
last call of sparrow



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