The day breaks open

The glasscutter call of a chickadee breaks
open the day with continuous song
while I gulp coffee and serious list-make.

I apply bullet points for brevity’s sake
dots that show how my day clips along.
The glasscutter call of a chickadee breaks…

Check-check, check-check, devoted I take
clock’s caution to hurry – you don’t have that long,
while I gulp coffee and serious list-make.

Her insistent refrain – so much is at stake
you must sing right now – something could go wrong.
The glasscutter call of a chickadee breaks…

calls and calls, calls again, my ancient heart aches
my pen receives nothing but she sings on strong
while I gulp coffee and serious list-make.

Time bolted last night, out the window flung,
minute second chances sprung forward headlong.
The glasscutter call of a chickadee breaks,
while I gulp coffee and serious list-make.

Black-capped Chickadee

Credit: Hinterland Who’s Who – Missy Dawn Mandel photographer



36 thoughts on “The day breaks open

  1. I wish I had taken courses in poetry when in college–I know so little and, so, have so much trouble with real appreciation. I’m glad it came out, in the comments, that this was a villanelle, so I could look that up and then go back and re-read with the info in mind–it changed so much about the way I read and understood. Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really and truly try hard not to write poetry that is impenetrable. I hoped the rhyme would at least make it bouncy and fun to read. I don’t think people should need a special degree to read and enjoy poetry! I thank you so much for taking the time and making the effort. That’s fabulous!


      • I want to assure you it wasn’t impenetrable at all! And the structure and rhyme made me think of the chickadee’s call–it really worked! I just think more training would allow me to get even more from your hard work!

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    • I thought of Cynthia as I wrote, trying to squeeze what I wanted to say into a villanelle. Of course the quality is nothing like her work but I now appreciate the challenge of bending an idea into a tight form.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, there we go! Because I too thought of Cynthia and thought that her response would be similar to mine – we often discussed the fact that her priority was the form and mine the words (the form being quite beyond me!) and purity was found when the two met…….. I’m no expert like she was, but I did think she would be pleased by this.

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    • I of course snagged that picture from the world wide web but one day I’d love to have a camera – and the time – to photograph birds. I love chickadees, too, and round here there are a few hiking trails where, if you bring seed, the little fellas will land on your fingers and feed from your palm. Ahhh-mazing.

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