Ishaisms, Nature, Poetry

Birds of the Courtyard

Where have they gone – the birds of the courtyard –
that chirped ceaselessly, before a sharp sound or those chattering monkeys
set them aflutter?

Do you remember how they descended
from their glorious aerial abode
to the courtyard,
in warm gratitude for the host,
delightfully picking at the seeds strewn on winter mornings –
a party of murmuring migrators,
eagerly about their business..?

I wonder where they’ve been…

Did you ever notice
how despite their squeaks and chirpy frolickings,
they seemed to endow upon this little world of ours, a sense of,
tranquility – a moment of pristine peace
in this perplexed, polluted plain,
choking, crying –
a mere museum of its former glory,
confined to memory, and art
and stories – do you remember?

perhaps they just flew away, for dear life,
for it’s been over a year now and no sign
of the birds of our courtyard…
perhaps they just flew away,
for dear life…

don’t you think?

© Isha Garg
Doodle by Isha Garg

35 thoughts on “Birds of the Courtyard”

  1. I’ve read your poem about four times now, and I keep coming back to it. It evokes images of the birdsong in my parents beautiful yard in the country, in the early shimmery hours of the morning. I remember waking up to the sound of their chorus and instantly being filled with joy. The fact that the birds have gone away and not returned in this piece fills me with sorrow and a gray feeling of bleakness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Early shimmery hours” ❤
      Thank you so much, Larisa!
      It’s remarkably strange how similar the memory that served as inspiration for this piece, is to your beautiful story.
      I thought of those early hours of the winter mornings, wherein I’d join my grandfather in his daily ritual of strewing seeds to the birds, mostly pigeons. I remember those tight fistfuls of seeds, the flock of birds that seemed to come out of nowhere as soon as the seeds were scattered – and my solemn, serene grandfather, standing there, braving the icy cold winds to nourish those birds – and I remember thinking, even then, how I’d never forget that moment.

      I am so glad you resonated with this piece, something I feel very few can appreciate the way you did. Yet, let your bleak, gray despair dissipate like the breaking of winter dawn into a sky glorified by winter sunshine, knowing that, in writing this poem, perhaps, the birds have been brought back to the courtyard, where they shall chirp again, each time the piece is visited!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ahh that was enchanting ♥️ Beautiful writing has a way of doing that—evoking within each person their own personal store of moments forever frozen in memory like amber beads strung on a length of twine. That was a beautiful thing your grandfather did, and his actions left a legacy that are forever immortalized in your writing. I think there is no higher calling than to make an imprint in the mind of a child.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love the delicate imagery you weaved, of amber beads strung on twine! Also, I agree with the closing philosophic insight there – the greatest measure of our lives are in the imprints we leave – and if those imprints can be built upon by those they’re left upon – what else can one ask from life?
        I must thank you again for such an inspiring and thought provoking exchange ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Or, they have heard, by way of mysterious chirpy communications that I have laid out fresh suet and sunflower seeds on my patio! My lure thus precipitating the eerie, empty courtyard but a lovely … lovely post by you! And doodle! Ah fond memories 😍 🖊 📝 💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely doodle, actually too good. Makes me wonder why you don’t do these more often. As for the birds, we city dwellers, especially Bangalore dwellers miss them more than others, you can’t even find a crow in Bangalore anymore. It so sad that I am compelled to think of their absence as a metaphor for everything that I miss from my small city childhood, things that have vanished into the thin air of time

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is quite unfortunate indeed, ESP! Birdsongs, birds and the like, seem to play such a pivotal role in my life that a life without them would seem almost out of place for me, and lamentable… I wonder sometimes, if I’d even be able to write if deprived of these little, simple things about nature that goad me to take to pen. Yet the less habitable the world is made for these creatures, the lesser they’ll be found even in the less polluted places. Your account, while sad, is a gentle reminder to take a second look, to stop and smell the roses so to speak, before they vanish into thin air for me too, and for those that are still blessed with them.
      Thank you for your words. I’m glad you liked the doodle😊


  4. I love this Isha, the beauty and simple joy of seeing birds flock to a courtyard as a symbol for what is happening to our world. Perhaps a symbol for the loss of the innocence of childhood too.
    ‘A mere museum of its former glory,
confined to memory, and art
and stories – do you remember?”

    I have noticed a definite increase in birds in my garden during lock down. Even different species I wouldn’t normally see there. It’s something I’ve revelled in over this time.

    Hope you are well 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was actually re reading this poem and realised how it takes on a whole new meaning, given the current global climate, which is why I decided to re post. I love how you trace the symbolism of lost innocence of childhood…

      Different species of birds! That’s truly something to marvel at and celebrate.

      I’m well, thank you so much 💞 Sending my warmest regards to you. Thank you for such a beautiful exchange!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The pleasure is all mine! I intend to delve into your poetry, I am officially a fan 💕. Your poems are always so richly beautiful and have such depth! And yes, this one takes on a whole new meaning given the current state of the world…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well then it is my honour, and privilege to receive such praise, although I will always feel I don’t deserve it. But it delights me nonetheless! 😁😊💞

        Liked by 2 people

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