Hirundo rustica: Barn Swallow

By Anthony Foliot

I think it was probably a year, or so,

after the birth of my Daughter.

That I packed my things, and quit the shore,

and moved out on the water.

In a homemade house, on a bunch of drums,

I floated on the West shore.

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Then I built a house, for the Swallows there,

and every year after built more.

Cause Swallows are such a pretty bird;

I love that they’re sleek and agile.

One beautiful Sunday Morning of late

I sat and watched them awhile.

The Swallows were swift, as they capered and dived,

swooping along everywhere;

While a few would natter, like sports commentators,

on the clothesline right by my chair.

When I watched those birds, it was peaceful and calm.

It’s Paradise at that hour;

with only the sound of the chattering birds,

or the bees in the Good Woman’s flowers.

But up on the hill comes the sound of the drill,

as it starts down into the rock.

A racketing sound echoes all around,

while I’m sitting on my dock.

See, they’re blasting the rock for the condo-site,

up on the Twin Pine Hill.

And it used to be, like the Garden of Eden,

Used to be, that is, until…

Now then the excavator up on the hill,

loads the rubber mats real fast.

And the guy blows the horn, twelve in a row,

then wait for it, here’s the blast.

Kaboom! It goes, with a big cloud of dust,

The mats jump up in the air.

And pretty soon, if they keep it up,

the hill will no longer be there.

But it’s like Mother Nature felt the explosion,

now the wind it starts to pick up;

And my peace is gone, the birds moved along,

I’m left with an empty cup.

So much for the Garden of Eden.

So much for Paradise.

They blew up the rocks and they threw up a box.

Now it rains. Mother Nature cries.


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