Amateur Ornithology

by Dan Bosco

I wake up with the sun,
and watch as the light filters through the clouds
onto the hummingbird on the porch, pecking at the pink spray top
of our homemade-pesticide bottle,
trying to decipher whether there’s any nectar inside.
The birds in the valley are lifting their feathers in the gentle breeze,
and improvising lyrics out of practiced phrases
over the steady rhythm of the stream.
The beat is constant,
and to an amateur, it’s non-existent,
but a careful ear can find the percussive thud
of new droplets tripping over the same cold stones.
The birds recognize it
and place their screaming melodies over the river’s tune,
just skimming the surface of their repertoire.
I could spend the rest of my life
trying to decipher their song,
and I would still never understand what comes to the birds naturally.

Hummingbird by Craig Altobello
Hummingbird by Craig Altobello

Dan Bosco is a poet and fiction writer. He is a New Hampshire native and studied poetry at Plymouth State University, where he earned his BA in English in 2014. His work has been printed several times in PSU’s student-run publication, Centripetal, and he has three self-produced chapbooks of poetry, Momento Mori, The Art of Forgetting, and Tenney Mountain Poetry. Dan’s poetry employs his natural surroundings and their interactions with the self in an attempt to explore and understand the universe we live in. He currently lives in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire where he works as a freelance editor.

Craig Altobello was introduced to woodworking in 1978 during a workshop with designer/craftsman Thomas Moser of Maine. He traveled to the College of the Redwoods in California to learn marquetry. He is a juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and the Sharon Arts Center in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He is a participant in the Monadnock Art Open Studio Art Tour held annually on Columbus Day weekend. You can learn more about the art of marquetry on his website at

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