Birds On Strike!

It’s actually kind of funny, because I saw the prompt after dark, and wrote the poem based on what I’d seen earlier in the day, but wanted a picture of the birds I’d seen that morning. The birds have yet to come back today, so maybe they’re making signs or already had the protest and I missed it.

Birds On Strike!


Like well-healed amputated fingers

The crepe myrtle’s bare limbs reached

I reckon they were serious!

I reckon they were serious!

Straining toward a bright blue morning sky

A sparrow lighted upon a white nub

Looked first one way, then another

Curious head jerking this way and that

Wondering, no doubt what had happened

To the tree that had been so glorious

So beautiful, a short two months ago

Another bird lighted beside the first

Then another and then a fourth

They darted glances all around

Studying the too closely manicured tree

I sensed a rebellion in the making

And could envision them marching

Along the brick planter wall

Little signs in their wings

Ban Pruning Shears!

Saws Are Evil!

Leave Trees Alone!

I chuckled then returned to my work

Silly birds


Copyright © 2014 C Mashburn


Wrote this in response to dVerse Poets Pub’s prompt, Poetics ~ Out the Window.


  1. shanyns said

    Ah the protests of birds! Love this, poor tree though. Hope it grows back nicely again!

  2. claudia said

    haha… so good… you made me see them… yeah…i think birds should strike more often and now don’t cut that branches so much anymore…smiles

    • Thank you, Claudia! Yes, I guess I should have thought of them before I went crazy with the shears. It WILL grow back though; bushier and more gorgeous than ever. It’s just that long wait for spring!

  3. ha. hope you dont end up with too many strikers outside your window…it could turn hitchcockian pretty quick….smiles…

    • Yep, we got lotsa birds, and they rule the roost around here. Looks like I might have to apply for a permit before I do any more pruning!
      Thanks for stopping by, Brian!

  4. Bird protest…nice!

  5. I once foolishly cut back the winter berry bush at the wrong time of year…the birds boycotted my yard for months…it’s all in the timing.

    • Now ya tell me! Doesn’t matter, though. I have no timing!
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Ronald!

  6. Hope there are no ents there … marching down to get their revenge… hmm be careful with axe and shears.

    • Okay… what’s a ent? And, now we’re talking revenge?? I surrender!
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Bjorn!

  7. Heidi said

    It’s tricky when the pruning shears are in the hands of a gardener. Always hard to stop once started. LOL

    • Gardner? Who you callin a gardner? You’ve obviously mistaken me for someone who knows what they’re doing. I get all my gardening info off the Internet on an as-needed basis. Problem is, I usually need info after I already messed up!
      Thanks for the visit, Heidi! I appreciate the comment!

  8. We have a crepe myrtle, too, and they are so incredible in bloom and so nake in winter. I tend to over-prune, too. There’s got to be a metaphor in that.

    • Actually, we have about twenty crepe myrtles. This is a small one and it blocks my view of the lake, so I cut it down to size. I’m hoping the main stalks continue to lengthen, so the bushy, flower part is above my sight line. Might take a few years! And, by the way, I’m having a professional do the rest of em.
      Thanks, Victoria! Good to hear from you!

  9. I hard-prune my Rose of Sharon each fall, as I find it seems to like it the following year, growing another foot and flowering like crazy in August! Perhaps my birds will join yours in protest!. This was a fun piece to read!

    • I don’t think I have one of those, but the crepe myrtles are the same when it comes to pruning them. They almost always come back and do beautifully. Most of the info I’ve gathered says to trim them so they look the way you want them too. It’s more about climate than it is about pruning.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Ginny!

      • Sherry Mashburn said

        BTW, we have two Rose of Sharons . . . one on either side of the back porch.

      • See! I tole em I wasn’t no gardener!

  10. Ha ha… poor birds… got to be careful with those pruners and not get too carried away. 🙂 Have known a few crazy pruners in my time I go outside to find a twig where once stood a tree… ha ha!

    • Yeah… I’m kinda concerned about the lemon tree (I think it’s actually a lemon bush). I might have gotten carried away on that one. But! It was out of control! I had to do something!
      Good to hear from you, Diane! I hope all is well in your part of the world.

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