The Voice of the Calling Bird

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He calls and sings, and then he sings and calls. I hear him calling every morning; long before the first stroke of the yellow brush on these African skies I now gaze at. After the break of dawn, he keeps calling. He looks for a lofty platform, clim...

He calls and sings, and then he sings and calls. I hear him calling every morning; long before the first stroke of the yellow brush on these African skies I now gaze at. After the break of dawn, he keeps calling. He looks for a lofty platform, climbs like a celebrity in prime and lets out his voice, struts with the bravado of a he-goat, and lets his fellows take up the call. One look at him and you can tell even winners of the Grammies were never this cocksure!


Voices in my head. Clear and glinting
Like liquid mercury
The voice of the irreverent deity, this song bird
Sings of this home I dare not hope for
In tones I dare not hear
For the smothering smoothness of it all!

Calling bird.
The drums and the flute
Accompany your single duet
Music for my soul. Voice that calls me home
Teach my heart
To trust
In the soft colors that tell
Of this winter harvest.

When the entire neighborhood has heard his voice and that of his prime time companions, he walks away. He is oblivious to the fact that he is the symbol of life, that his call is the sign that this light will not fade when we get to the end of the tunnel. He calls us to rouse and march into the darkness, confident that morning has come although all we see is night. And when we heed the croon of this arrogant caller, sooner than later the light surprises us, whisks us too quickly from night.
Only stupid farmers quarrel with the calling bird. They trust him to know when morning wakes, although they know too well he cannot define time. Only foolish hearts quarrel with the songs of their hearts and refuse to dance to their unseemly melodies.

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