Too much to see

For the dverse prompt. I wasn’t sure how on prompt this is, and I wasn’t sure where it was going, but I like where it ended up.


Air too dim to see today

the mist too thick the cloud too grey.

Nothing moves on the lane today

between ditch and ditch

no leaves on boughs to perch upon

the robins gone.

The sun is in the sky today

or so they say

but fog and rain conceal the gleam

of pool and stream.

I toss a bowl of sunflower seeds

into the leaves

beneath the trees

the hornbeam and the lime that stand

in silhouette before the house

and watch

distilled from rain and chilly mist

the finches flit,

rose-breasted, brown and smoky blue,

powder yellow and the green of mossy bark.

You turn and smile and in your eyes I see

a summer world where blackbird sings,

the russet flash of kestrels’ wings.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

38 thoughts on “Too much to see”

  1. This is so lovely, Jane. I like where it ended-up, too!
    (And funny that you said my poems remind you of birds, but your birds are really there.)
    Do you remember that you said you’re hearing new bird song–like spring is coming? I’m just starting to notice it here–even though we could still have blizzards.

      1. No, I had to look them up. We don’t have them here. I think regular thrushes stay all year, too, though I’m not sure if we have them around our house. They’re related to robins, and we do have those all year.

      2. They’re maybe not related at all. I think the early settlers in America named birds after the ones they knew in Europe on just a passing resemblance, nothing scientific. Your blackbirds are nothing like ours nor are your robins. It’s a nice idea though, hanging onto things that were so familiar.

  2. My goodness this is absolutely breathtaking verse, Jane! ❤️ I love; “I toss a bowl of sunflower seeds into the leaves.” 😀

  3. We all adored the spreading of sun flower seeds; put me in mind of the saga of Johnny Appleseed. Your use of color is exquisite, and many of your plants have fetching names.

  4. Jane, i like the way you used the sunflower seeds to reveal what may not have been immediately obvious. And isn’t that true in life. There may be more than meets the eye if we are patient enough or intune to see it. Loved the colors! And now I know that Kestrels are falcons… 🙂

    1. Thanks Rob. It’s very true what you say, we tend to only look out for what we want to see. Like choosing which news we want to believe.
      The Kestrel’s name comes from the French name Faucon Crecerelle. The Normans brought falconry to England and the names associated with it. Falcon from faucon etc.

  5. This is delightful, Jane – how you’ve transformed the oppression of fog into hope for a brighter day. It’s been foggy here for four days now – thanks for the lift.

  6. Oh my, Jane! This is so close to home I’m almost living it, except the mist and fog has cleared here already! I love the beautiful contrast of the hidden and the revealed, the ‘nothing’ and the flit and flash, the grey and the colour. I also love the lyrical lilt of this poem, Jane, and the gorgeous ending.

    1. Thank you. The fog got thicker and thicker yesterday as the temperature rose. The birds are always there though sometimes we get distracted by what we dislike, like the rain and the cold.

  7. I love how your birds materialize from fog, and while the imagery is grey and thick, your meter flits along, foreshadowing finches.

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