ron rothman.ron rothman

Up From The Egg:

The Confessions Of A Nuthatch Avoider



Bird watchers top my honors list.

I aimed to be one, but I missed.

Since I'm both myopic and astigmatic,

My aim turned out to be erratic,

And I, bespectacled and binocular,

Exposed myself to comment jocular.

We don't need too much birdlore, do we,

To tell a flamingo from a towhee;

Yet I cannot, and never will,

Unless the silly birds stand still.

And there's no enlightenment so obscure

As ornithological literature.

Is yon strange creature a common chickadee,

Or a migrant alouette from Picardy?

You rush to consult your Nature guide

And inspect the gallery inside,

But a bird in the open never looks

Like its picture in the birdie books —

Or if it once did, it has changed its plumage,

And plunges you back into ignorant gloomage.

That is why I sit here growing old by inches,

Watching the clock instead of finches,

But I sometimes visualize in my gin

The Audubon that I audubin.

Ogden Nash, 1957