Bird Songs

People, and not
just ornithologists,
get as hot
as apologists
can justifiably be
under their collars
in arcane controversy — 
keeping their molars 
ungnashed, unground
with masking grins
as they expound
on ones that win
their votes
for color, grace of flight
and, of course, notes 
beautiful and bright
 — ignoring those
who cast vetoes
in lieu of blows
for craven crows — 
Some praise pay
the twittering tweet
that makes one’s day
a joy to greet;
others give tribute
to whistle sweet
as magic flute
fluid, none can beat;
many hearts find sate
in plaintive warble
of love-lorn mate
(oft run down as bauble
that grates and rasps
 — but better than brass,
bass long-drawn gasps 
proving background crass — ) 
Of conflict just short, 
knuckles white, hard bone
as they pour tea from pot 
and pass the scones — 
though cool they are not: 
rather, smarting red-hot: 
noses upturned with snot, 
small talk polyglot — 
And then the parrot,
forgotten butt of each joke, 
tired of his garret
and spoke in a croak:
with crude, blunt speech 
blatant, meant to teach — 
a lesson aimed at each
sober as parish priest — 
With voice of doom
broached wages of vice,
guilt reeking in room 
deserved hangman thrice.
 — And what of good host?
 — ghosts would scare away
– the music he toasts
guests’ wives — great lays — 
and you, sir, monocled,
ready with quick quip:
bound and manacled,
and ridden with whip — 
And ladies, ladies,
what secrets you share:
your husbands dandies
you willfully dare bare
 — and with all these games 
keeping boredom at bay,
you still seek to blame
those you cheat at play — 
But why admit shame?
Your fun’s not worth price. 
Your birds do the same 
without thinking twice — 
If you really knew
what passes ’tween birds 
you’d see them anew
 — at a loss for words.
For both hen and cock
crude speak their minds plain: 
gutter talk would truly shock, 
if not permanently pain.
So play on, folks
 — you yokels running amok 
are just cause for jokes — 
secret we birds mock —