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A Bird and A Boy

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* In honor and memory of my hero, Walt Whitman *

Image result for fence ocean cardinal

One day as a boy, I went down to the sea, Clambered o'er rocks way out to the bluff, Stopping to search the tide pool for shells, Senses awakened by strong, briny smells. Warming, the zephyr was gentle enough - Yawning in promise, the sun winked at me. Descending a crag and reaching the shore, I found my prized seat there, on an old log. Wriggling my toes to delve, deep the sand, Pledging the treasure of shells in my hand, That sunlight and wind would scatter the fog, And thawing, I took off the sweatshirt I wore. 'Twas then that I spotted a bird, scarlet red - A Cardinal, and male, with exquisite feather, Perched on a snow fence rimming the dunes, Greeting the day with the saddest of tunes. Below in the grasses, ringed by the heather, Lay one female Cardinal, silenced and dead. I stayed there all day, observing that sight - The male with the canticle, pleading his mate, A sorrow and agony poured from that bird, As mournful a song as these ears ever heard. I stayed there 'til dusk, the sun bowing late, And still, he continued, deep into the night. I went back each morn to hear that bird sing, Thus crooning all day for his dear love to rise, The rest of the summer and even years hence, With endless devotion, he trilled on that fence. And tho' one sad spring he departed the skies, I watched evermore for red birds on the wing. Well ... I'm old now and weary, but here's an odd thing: When winter relents and the warm mistrals bring A breeze with bouquets of hopes for the spring, As I'm biding the black arms of slumber to cling ... Though it's often dismissed, I so swear, through the mist, Midst the eve, heaven-kissed, That I still ... hear ... him ... Sing. ~ Honorable Mention ~ in the "Your Choice (10) Personification, Any Form, Any Theme" Poetry Contest, Brian Strand, Judge & Sponsor. ~ 1st Place ~ in the "Specificity In Poetry" Poetry Contest, Sheri Fresonke Harper, Judge & Sponsor. ~ 1st Place ~ in the "Best Rhyming Poem September thru October 2017" Poetry Contest, John Hamilton, Judge & Sponsor. (This is a Sextain with a pattern of ABCCBA)

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017




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Date: 6/24/2019 8:43:00 PM
It was such a pleasure to return and reread this magnificent poem, Gregory. Such a poignant and exquisite beauty. Congratulations on your placement in Brian's contest. Warmest wishes always,my friend.. ~Susan
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 6/25/2019 12:38:00 AM
You are always so kind, Susan, and your very sincere and wonderful comments mean a great deal to me ... there are few poets here who I respect as much as I do you, and I'm so pleased that you like this one - it is special to me. Blessings, Dear Poet! :-) <3
Date: 5/3/2019 9:33:00 PM
Amazing piece my friend! I'm still somewhat in the midst of spreading my range of poetry skill base, and still learning different unique pieces of art using vast amounts of differentiation in each individual form. Regardless, this piece is quite intriguing and captivating at the same level. Congratulations on your rightfully earned win! Neronero/UncleFen
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 5/8/2019 2:09:00 AM
What a very kind and heartfelt comment, Jeffrey, and I so thank you for taking the time to read my poem ... I'm very pleased you liked this one as it is rather special to me. Many blessings to you and yours, My Friend! :-)
Date: 5/3/2019 11:36:00 AM
The beautiful form and the emotions this poem wrenched from my heart makes this a fave for me Greg. I can tell this took time and effort to birth and it is so deserving of your first place win. Exquisite! Congratulations my friend! xxoo : )
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 5/8/2019 2:07:00 AM
Thank you so very much, Connie, I so greatly appreciate your kind comments, and you are always so sincere and sweet ... you have become one of my favorite poets and people here at Poetry Soup, and I am so grateful for your friendship. Blessings! :-) <3
Date: 5/3/2019 1:19:00 AM
I was happily rendered enthralled from beginning to end - content and style both grabbed me in delightful ways. Congratulations! Poetry hugs ... CayCay
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 5/3/2019 7:44:00 AM
That's so nice of you, CayCay, your opinion means a lot to me, and I'm so pleased you enjoyed this one! Blessings, Dear Poet! :-) <3
Date: 5/2/2019 5:22:00 PM
Captivating, exquisite... Congratulations on your well deserved first place finish. This is a FAVE for me :)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 5/3/2019 7:43:00 AM
Many kind thank you's, PS, so greatly appreciated! :-) <3
Date: 5/2/2019 3:42:00 PM
Congratulations on your 1st place win, Gregory, beautiful. I love the wonderful details and ability to touch my emotions!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 5/3/2019 7:42:00 AM
Oh, THANK you so much, Sheri, this made my week! (And it's been a rough one, lol) ... this poem means a lot to me and took some work, so I greatly appreciate the accolades and the honor of being on a list with such wonderful poets. Blessings, my friend! :-) <3
Date: 11/8/2017 3:58:00 AM
Congratulations Greg on your 1st place win! Your beautiful poignant poem about the boy and the bird captured my imagination. Truly, you deserve this top win :-)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/8/2017 11:16:00 PM
Thank you very kindly, Elaine, I'm so pleased you enjoyed this one, as it is very special to me for many reasons! Blessings to you, my friend! :-) <3
Date: 11/7/2017 10:13:00 AM
Greg, congratulations on a well-deserved #1 win!! This is wonderful! I appreciate your timeless message and the beauty of your imagery. Well done! I will carry this one forward with me, so thank you for that. I love your dedication, too. Walt Whitman was truly one of the best. :) Bartholomew
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/8/2017 11:14:00 PM
This is such a nice comment, Bartholomew, and one that I so greatly appreciate ... especially from such a wonderful poet as yourself, and another Walt Whitman fan! Blessings and thanks to you, my friend! :-)
Date: 11/7/2017 8:36:00 AM
Lovely poem Greg--deserving of the first place--you always write so passionately--keep writing, Congrats!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/8/2017 11:07:00 PM
Thank you so much, Vijay, your opinion is very important to me as I admire your work so - very kind of you, my friend - blessings! :-)
Date: 11/7/2017 7:08:00 AM
WoW Greg I could read your incredible poetry all day. This is absolutely exquisite in imagery and the ending brought a huge lump to my throat - into my faves:-) i can see why John loved it so much!:-) hugs Jan xx
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/8/2017 11:05:00 PM
Awww ... that's very sweet of you, Jan, and I am so appreciative of your kindness ... thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it! :-) <3
Date: 11/7/2017 7:04:00 AM
Congrats on your win. Well deserved.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/8/2017 11:04:00 PM
Thank you so much, my friend, I so greatly appreciate that - blessings! :-)
Date: 11/6/2017 11:46:00 PM
Congratulations, Greg on your great win.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/6/2017 11:58:00 PM
Thank you so kindly, Subimal - very kind of you, my friend! :-)
Date: 11/6/2017 8:47:00 PM
Congratulations Gregory on your excellent win with this superb and captivating write. Truly enjoyed!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/6/2017 11:57:00 PM
Thank you so very much, Susan - I greatly appreciate that! :-) <3
Date: 11/6/2017 7:51:00 PM
Wonderful write Greg truly marvelous I ran out of superlatives with you, congrats on another fine win!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/6/2017 11:56:00 PM
Very kind of you, John, and I am honored and humbled by the placement ... I'm so pleased you enjoyed this one, as it is VERY special to me, for many reasons. Many thanks and blessings, friend! :-)
Date: 11/6/2017 7:49:00 PM
Gregory, congratulations on your win! Hugs Eve ~`*
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 11/6/2017 11:55:00 PM
Thank you so much, Eve - blessings! <3
Date: 9/21/2017 11:17:00 AM
Goosebumps! Tear to my eye, wonderful pen my friend. Lovely day to you! xomo
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 9/21/2017 11:13:00 PM
Thank you SO much, Maureen - that's very sweet of you, and I kindly appreciate it ... a physical and emotional response is like the ultimate comment, (I'm sure you agree), so thanks for sharing that. The fact that most birds, (and many animals), mate for life has always intrigued me, and I've often heard a difference in bird songs - the tone and timbre - that I felt was that longing for a lost mate. It is so heart-wrenching! <3
Date: 9/21/2017 5:21:00 AM
This is such a beautiful and enchanting write my good friend! I surely loved reading this illustrious poem this morning! You rhyme scheme was awesome, but your story line was exquisite, it pulled me into the poem, and I was entranced by your words! What an enlightening poem, Great Work!! Soup Mail!!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 9/21/2017 11:09:00 PM
Thank you, Brother, I truly appreciate your kind comment, and I'm so glad you're improving! I will email you ASAP and update you with things here. Really pleased you liked this one, my friend!