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tribute to tim murphy

Bruce Bennett




      The cock oriole perches
      atop a catkinned limb,
      whistling as he searches
      for hens to mate with him.

      Deep in the woods a veery
      puffs up his creamy breast
      to serenade his dearie,
      outsinging all the rest.

      Contestants in our orchard,
      ambitious warblers throng,
      tiny poets tortured
      by one another’s song.
        —Tim Murphy

      Another poet hovers.
      He knows what it’s about:
      this importuning lovers
      while beating rivals out;

      This panoply of strutting,
      each scrambling to be best!
      This ritual of out-rutting
      the undistinguished rest!