Waiting for the Woodpecker

Down the lane towards the river,
branches touch their fingertips together,
a leafy tunnel to catch a breeze
while I listen for drumrolls from the trees
to announce the annual rollercoaster,
the reappearance of the spotted woodpecker.
It’s already May and I haven’t heard him yet,
he must be still selecting the most perfect
of natural drums, trees long dead and hollow
on which to play his echoing glissando.
For some it is a friendly reverberation,
while others might consider it a commotion.
Whether it is a sign of happiness or warning,
I am waiting for the woodpecker each morning.

Kim M. Russell, 7th May 2020

100+ Free Great Spotted Woodpecker & Woodpecker Images - Pixabay
He still hasn’t arrived  – image found on Pixabay

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: Doubly Perfect Fourteen Lines

Frank H is hosting the first Meeting the Bar prompt of May with a sequel to last month’s challenge to write a seven-line poem. Today he has doubled the challenge and asks us to write a poem of fourteen lines using any or no form.

47 thoughts on “Waiting for the Woodpecker

  1. I have heard the woodpecker already… but I’m unsure if it was the spotted one or the green woodpecker… they are both quite common in the area. I find their drumbeat nice…. but I have not heard when they find a piece of metal to hammer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have had both too, although I prefer the greater and lesser spotted variety. I haven’t heard a woodpecker hammer on metal – a heavy metal woodpecker, perhaps?


  2. There was once a time in Wisconsin when we stayed in a cottage and were greeted by a woodpecker. Although he was a bit noisy, I was glad we were there to hear that music. I like how you described those trees as “natural drums”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He reminds me of my walks with Jasper, our dog, before he died. Sometimes, it seemed as if the woodpecker had followed us from the silver birches at the end of our garden to the pines at the top of our favourite lane, where he would peck away until we returned form our walk.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely sonnet. I don’t think it was sad, as much as wistful perhaps. I hope your waiting is rewarded with the sound, if not sight of the woodpecker soon. I’ve heard them in my neighborhood in the morning when I take a walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No cuckoos either. I was hoping to hear so many more different birds in this enforced silence. This morning, all I’ve heard is grumbling wood pigeons!


  4. No woodpeckers here in the suburbs. I have only heard them while hiking or camping in the forest. You do strike a tone of sadness here; our natural balance is disrupted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Glenn. You’re so right, the natural balance has been disrupted in more ways than one. I was hoping the peace and quiet would attract woodpeckers.


  5. We have woodpeckers that visit the feeder. Let me tell you, when they drum on the metal gutters it sounds like a jackhammer. One made me jump from my chair one day in a panic.
    Love that you are waiting, hoping for the woodpecker to return.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debi. That gives a new meaning to heavy metal! I’m worried that something has scare him away, or maybe he has found a mate somewhere else.


  6. We have 3 different kinds of woodpeckers who visit out feeders. My favorite is the majestic pileated fellow who’s nearly a foot long from tail to crown. I loved your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kaykuala

    For some it is a friendly reverberation,
    while others might consider it a commotion.

    Very realistic response from those within hearing distance of their friendly reverberation,or was it a commotion? Yes, Kim, great writing!


    Liked by 1 person

  8. I went for a walk this week and was lured into the woods by the sound of a woodpecker. I couldn’t find him but he was tap, tap, tapping very loud. Another great sonnet, I am enjoying reading all these delights.

    Liked by 1 person

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