Birds Nobody Loves: A book of Vultures & Grackles by James Brush. This title drew me in. I am not a bird person; in fact, I know very little about birds. It fascinated me to think of a book written about birds nobody loves…hold on, not just a book…as in a novel with an interesting title…but a book of poetry.
Isn’t poetry supposed to be about lovely things or sad things or heartfelt things? Okay, I knew I must have a copy to see how the author, James Brush, pulled off an entire book of poetical verse about birds nobody loves.
I downloaded the book onto my IBooks. Flip- flip- flip (reading the entire way through) and before I knew it I was at the end of the book. I went back through and stopped at the pieces I found really hit me. So how do I think James Brush pulled this off… magnificently!
First, I was amazed that I would even like pieces about birds- let alone, ones nobody loves. I mean, I could imagine poems about blue birds and peacocks and the like…but grackles?? Number one, what in heaven’s name is a grackle? To my amazement, I enjoyed each piece. By the third read, I was seeing layers in some of the pieces…wise layers…intriguing layers. I knew this was a keeper.
Second, the words were beautiful. You see, I have a ‘thing’ about words. I like words that flow and dance across a page. I love words gliding effortlessly in front of me causing me to stop breathing for just a moment. I love words which create mind masterpieces. Such were the words I encountered in Birds Nobody Loves.
”I caught my breath
when you confessed
that you loved vultures too.”
“Only common grackles like this heat.
The other birds hold still like
Knots in the trees, silent waiting for dusk,
Trying to keep their colors from melting
into the brown grass and faded leaves.”
“High on a power line, he cranes his neck upward
stretching his beak to drink this northern sky.
On other power lines, other grackles do
Each hungry to gulp down this bright blue day.”
- Quiscalus Mexicanus
“…Now I understand
Vultures, too, are beautiful:
They clean our messes
Faster than military undertakers
Or even the highway department”
- Patton’s Army
There were many more lines which enthralled me- captivated me- but I don’t want to spoil it for you. So I will leave you to discover what makes this book about Birds Nobody Loves so fascinating. I can honestly say, when I reached the end of the book I wished there was more for me to read.
If you want to find out more about James Brush- you can visit either of his two blogs: Coyote Mercury or A Gnarled Oak. If you want to find out more about how to purchase the book, you can check out James Brush's post on the subject.