the birds are all dead

Greetings and salutations, my dear digital friends!

As so many of you know (and apparently like), I do enjoy writing sad or dark poetry on occasion. This week’s poem introduces the notion that “the birds are all dead.” Foreboding!

The concept of this poem began with lines 13-16.

For all my fellow lit nerds out there, I was thinking of Act III, Scene V from William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet where our tragic star-crossed lovers debate whether the birdsong they hear in the orchard is a nightingale (night bird) or a lark (day bird). They seek to eek out every last moment together, knowing with the daylight, Romeo must flee or be captured and killed. Well, we all know where it goes from there.

Then my mind ponders – what if all the birds were dead? What a loss to the world of literature to think this scene may have never existed!

Yup. Weird. I know.

But is poetry always so literal as to presume all the birds are actually dead? Maybe. But if not maybe, then what else might it be?

As always, my friends, I would love to hear your analyses, thoughts, and/or feelings in the Comments Section below.

-PS Conway ☘️ ☘️ ☘️

☘️ ☘️ ☘️ ☘️ ☘️

the birds are all dead

the birds are all dead

the newfound silence of early night

in all its starless mourning

lacks its wonted soundtrack

the world’s left filled with scratchy things

some leaves skittering like insect hordes

‘long the littered boardwalk

the carousel, ochre lit and wobbly,

repeats its tinny din

of dissonant organ dirges

revealing the sunset, stark and ugly,

like a bruise on the face of love

to recall a kiss midst birdsong

where time was lost to un-knowing

a nightingale from a lark

to endure such bliss from dusk ‘til dawn

then watch you take the hand of Keats

and go where i could not follow

could not swallow in the hollow

of a sterile flatline tone

the birds are all dead

and the silence is scurrilous and profane

an obloquy denouncing beauty

in the absence of their joy


  1. I cannot even begin to contemplate a world without bird song. We already have a decline in some species which is appalling enough. The silence would be deafening, life not worth living.
    Poems are thought provoking, for me this poem is unsettling, even ugly but ugly has to be faced, it is the opposite of beauty, the yin and the yang. It is a reminder of all that is important and fragile.
    Thank you 🙏

    1. Love this comment, Sandie! It is the exact word I used to describe some of the imagery in this poem… ugly. I’m a huge believer that poetry (art, in general) cannot always be pretty. Sometimes we need to understand the ugly things to understand the brilliance (and often rarity) of beauty. Cheers, my friend. 🕊️🌹🍷🙏🏻✨

  2. “The birds are all dead,” and with them goes all of the joy, the peace, the love of life. The sounds and sights of life resemble death as is prevalent throughout your poem, leaving a place of darkness and depression. The mind is such a fragile thing and faced with such sights and sounds would soon break. Great dark poetry!

    1. I promised you last week I’d deliver a dark poem this week…. Sounds like a YES? This poem is – on so many levels – about the ugliness of loss… and the ugly imagery is intentionally plied to bolster that nightmare-quality feeling. Appreciate your comments so much, my friend. 🖤🙏🏻🌹🍷✨

    2. Wow Pat, this is one of your best imho. What a lesson in vocabulary! I notice religious undertones, as the silence becomes a blasphemy upon the earth.
      My favorite verse is “the world’s left filled with scratchy things”. Wonderful work!

      1. I accept your humble opinion with so much gratitude, my friend… between you and me, this is one of my personal faves I have written as well. FYI.. there will be a vocab quiz for all readers later today! Haha. Thanks!! 🖤🙏🏻🌹🍷✨

  3. Even in winter here with snow an ice all around I cannot fathom not having the cardinal outside my window, or the Blue Jay in my yard, with the sparrows chasing off the squirrels from the bird feeder. What a bleak and bug infested world it would be.

  4. The pain of loss.
    Whilst the world remains as it was for others , for the bereaved the birds are dead.
    The pleasure of the world is lost.

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