Here are two rondeaux about birds. One is dark and one is light.

The Night Has Come

The night has come. I have to fight
To waken in the fading light.
The sun, that tyrant of the day,
Has given half the world away
Unto the moon, now full and white.

The glare is gone, to my delight,
And now all things are in my sight.
My time is brief—I can’t delay.
The night has come.

Nocturnal birds do not unite
When hunger strikes and food is slight.
When I discover hidden prey,
I dive to earth—a lightning ray—
And stun it with a crushing bite.
The night has come.


An Ode to Chickadees

The mating call of the black-capped chickadee (a North American bird) sounds like a high-pitched, “Hey, Sweetie!”

“Hey, Sweetie!” — this is what you say.
Small chickadee, it is your way
To signal interest in your mate.
You sing and chase—and often wait—
Until she deigns to make your day.

With one short “cheep,” your friends will stay
Like statues, so they won’t be prey.
When skies are clear, your life is great:
“Hey, Sweetie!”

Though studies now are underway,
The birders feel, with sharp dismay,
Their knowledge gained has little weight,
For all their efforts to translate
Resulted in just one cliché:
“Hey, Sweetie!”