Archive for the Sam Dixon Category

The Idiot Birds by Sam Dixon

Posted in Sam Dixon with tags on December 14, 2019 by Scot



The Taipei boulevard’s long grassy median,
my prework sanctuary walk with egg sandwich,
benches and shade serving as a park
even between two-way traffic,

its trees have species tags
ficus religiosa sacred fig—
that some city official would identify trees
could be a positive sign
for industrial Taiwan’s
future environmental protection,

each morning I watch
elderly men in undershirts
hang bamboo bird cages
from the fig tree limbs
as their morning hobby

they bring in the cages
balanced on narrow floorboards
of puttering motor scooters,
bouncing over the median curbs,
shoulders hunched forward
legs splayed out,

black hoods cover the cages
until owners yank them off
each revealing a solitary myna
which begins squawking,
so many hooked onto branches
like a forest of tiny prisons,
dullard eyes of avian captives
peering through heart-shaped leaves,

birds that live confined inside
knowing just one raucous song,
never learning
as expats would,
stunted personalities unable
to commingle with acquaintance birds
for new songs
on winds of the world.