a metaphysical question


this morning i saw two

then four

then seven quail

pop to the top of our fence.

the males wore crisper whites and blacks

in patterns about the head and crest,

a rich auburn breast,

while females tended towards gray,

elegant in their more demure way.


the seven sat feather to feather

(no youngsters close by,

it being late november)

their heads bobbed up and down,

necks turned back and forth,

seven fat quail on our fence this morning

busily taking a quiet moment in the sun

before hopping down one by one

to forage beneath the orchid rock rose.


are my eyes wired directly to my spirit?


i only know that last year a western tanager

flashed brilliant yellow and orange

among the oaks and thus burned

a hole into my soul.


Published by


I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

19 thoughts on “a metaphysical question”

    1. yes, so true! my wife and i spend so much time watching and listening to them. for instance, lately we’ve had lots canada geese goslings being paraded in lines up and down the path between two ponds by the parents. delightful!


  1. I love this — the free format so nicely anchored by rhymed words…those small keystones that hold the whole as one. And I love the careful observation of the quails. My soul, too, has been so burned. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you, carrie. for me rhyme is always tricky, so i’m glad that you found that it works for this poem. and reading your descriptions of nature, i would definitely agree with your last statement.


    1. i’m glad to see that you enjoyed the poem! my latest experience with birds happened yesterday when i stopped my car on a nearby street to allow a mama duck to escort her brood of six ducklings, all of whom followed safely behind, to the other side. it made my day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a wonderful opportunity to help a little duck family! So in addition to being a well versed poet, you are also an admirable human being. It is sometimes the seemingly “small” things in life that count the most. I hope you have another lovely day!


  2. Maybe I am a bit biased as I’ve been a bird watcher and appreciator for as long as I can remember, but I love your careful observations of the quail contingent, and especially amidst subtle/near asides with rhyme, here: “elegant in their more demure way” and here “it being late November.” I think your affinity for and with Nature is tied to your soul ; ) … something likely so natural that your question gave me pause; we likely don’t appreciate or realize such things, at least not often enough! Thank you for the lovely bird scenes, and human ponderings. ~ Peri

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peri, I’m grateful for your kind comments.

    I recently saw this quote attributed to Mary Oliver, a wonderful writer, especially of nature:
    “Instructions for living a life. Pay Attention. Be Astonished. Tell about it.”

    Liked by 1 person

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