Pouring across the fallow pepper fields, Syrian refugees walkwalkwalk; Hermit Thrushes Quiver: A 420 Character 9-line poem. CAVEAT: Oops. Just realized that this is our Brown Thrasher, NOT our Hermit Thrush. I’m conflicted: leave it and have it all add up to 420 characters or start messing with it to make it factually accurate. (There’s a metaphor here also for the Syrian refugee tragedy: time to start messing with this more? Or just leave it.)

Brown Thrasher

(photo by Marie Kennedy, skilled birder, horticulturist, and photographer)


Displaced leaves signal the presence of a Hermit Thrush

hop-scraping through the litter, foraging for grubs,

sometimes pausing to “foot quiver” due to conflicting impulses:

keep shaking bits of leaves to get bugs or go still & hide?

A dilemma facing millions of Syrian refugees

who are now in their fifth year of alternating between

foraging & quivering;

but, unlike for the HT,

the future is bleak for these displaced.


The Syrian refugee crisis in numbers; staggering but consider that this accounting is only from 2013: