Be a woodpecker

A noisy summer’s
swansong as crooned
by a woodpecker
down on his luck,
perched above a traveler,
with hiccups and toenail clippers
to accompany them at dusk.

Greater Flameback

July can be a mean-spirited month. One moment it dares to wash the burn marks and sweat stains left by yet another
sultry summer. The very next – it breathes fire into our lungs, as if to scoff at how gullible we are for expecting anything else.

The month of July raises our hopes to dash it down. It’s like one of those moments while birding when we mistake strange human noises for loving bird calls. For instance, playful children for peacocks or jungle fowls. Vehicles honking at a distance for raptors. And so on.

A month or so from now, the weather would be will change around here. The sun will start playing peekaboo with rain-fed horizons. August can be moody though. It depends on which side of the sky she peeks at the world from in the morning.

Streak-Breasted Woodpecker

But she can also be benevolent. To farmers, birders and the rest who have vested interests in the weather. It might be like one of those moments we mistake loving bird noises for human sounds. When we think we hear a knock on the door, the sound of wood being chipped or approaching footsteps. And it turns out to be a woodpecker.

Be a woodpecker, won’t you, sweet August.

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