A Beguiled Fable of Birds and Old Men

May 15, 2009
By Sam Giambalvo BRONZE, Pleasant Hill, California
Sam Giambalvo BRONZE, Pleasant Hill, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Oh but hither o’er here
Said the wise, frail, old man
And I’ll recite to you a story-
As much as I can

The children shared glimpses
And gathered towards he
Children, yes, children
As far as the man could see-
Not far

Scarce is a tale so bold
And so brave
The old man spoke clearly
His voice plain and grave

We follow a youngster
No more than but 3
Our exploit born here
In the wrinkled Oak Tree

Your hero is frequently viewed
And overheard
Your hero is but a feeble
Young bird

A blue finch
If I well recall
‘Twas pale -
Feathered and small

The finch was but new
To our startlingly modern world
The cars, and the cell phones,
-It’s dread yet to unfurl

The bird was unnamed-
As were sisters and brothers
The finch was naïve -
As were the others

Still the Elders were skeptic -
“Much too feeble is he”
“Why not choose the female,
She, is stalwart like we”

For ‘ye unaware
Of the Elders’ conversation,
They merely speak of flight -
Who will take the vacation?

For humans alike
They misunderstand -
Flight is not purely granted
-Not handed out on demand
- Or is it?

No, no, flight is a privilege
And given to a select few
Honored are the chosen -
Treasured, those who flew

From the beginning of time
The birds, they had law
‘O which the Elders enforced
With a vigorous claw -
Quite literally

It was dreadfully forbidden
To attempt unbestowed flight
Consequence was callous
The birds cowered in fright

Yes, few birds endeavored,
Most efforts to no avail
But a prophecy was foreseen-
“The bird who would sail”

Some harshly disagreed
“Without grant, shan’t one swoop!”
Yet everyone knows -
The Prophet….was of the Elder’s group

Now back to our star -
The lead of our show
What shall happen next?
Does anyone know?

* *

The old man looked at the children
Their faces a blank
I knew it he thought
I must speak the story -
As they cannot wait!

Cough! - Cough!
Mind you. He is quite aged.

Where were we exactly?
Oh yes! I fin’ly see
The story of birds, I will unravel
To thee

Yes, our hero was seldom
Critiqued by the older
The Elders just laughed,
And turned a cold shoulder

But our fledgling was determined
Never will he fail!
One day, be it soon or nor
He shall sail

Since a colorless infant,
The bird, he would stare -
At awe of the creatures who
Flew way up There

Their fragile wings,
Their fruitful, long hair
He surveyed in wonder -
As they darted through the air

‘Why not I?’
He would ponder on occasion
‘Does not my aptitude
Exceed expectation?’

Truth be told, the bird
Was quite inept
Yet defeat was a word
He did not accept

One day came a meeting,
The Elders to attend
Pertaining to the
Trial of a bird
- One they will greatly condemn

The convict screeched in horror-
“I ask of you why?”
“Must you preach that our
Brethren can’t fly?”

The citizens shared glimpses-
Yet the “criminal” went on
“Be it a lie!”, shrieked he
“We could fly all along!”

The birds were in shock!
Was what he spoke true?
They stared at the Elders
What were they to do?

The Elders acted in instinct -
They had but one goal -
They slaughtered the bird,
His poor life they coldly stole

The birds became frantic -
One of their own had they killed!
The sad little bird’s life
Remains to be fulfilled!

“Do not fear as you do!”
Boomed the Elders in unison
Their voice near as strong
As that of one person

“He was a dastardly fool!
The bird you’ve just seen,
His life was a joke!
To none of us keen!”

However sick, this
Calmed the birds
“His word was utter noise ,
His voice so absurd”

Our hero thought not
It cannot be true!
There must be a way!
One event I could do!

He watched the birds
He was yet
To believe, the birds
Hopped away - as though
nothing had conceived!

He boldly stood large -
Puffed out his feathered chest
He narrowed his talons,
In careful effort to look best

“It is unrighteous what you’ve done!”
The hero shouted, still shaking
The Elder’s were startled,
As their patience he was taking

“And who be you, daft boy?
What gives you the right?
You out-stretch your chest -
As if willing to fight!”

“We find humor in your actions,
You will not prevail.
Do you truly believe
That all birds can sail?”

The young bird was quite
Frightened, yet he knew what to say
This was it, for come had his day

“I know not what to think, as
I am but a child.
But my feelings for what you’ve done
Have become more than just mild!”

“You slayed a guiltless bird, and if you retrace
You’ll find that your reason
was the thought of his disgrace!”

“And therefore, yes,
The Elder’s I had
Readily worshiped,
I believe have become corrupt!”

The Elders stepped back
What had he said?
Does he simply imply
We went over their heads?

Their voices were muffled, yet
One Elder veered closer -
His words were clear and clean
He spoke with composure

“I commend you fledgling, as you are brighter
Than we thought,
But the question is, will
You follow your heart?”

Our hero was stunned
They had given in!
He screamed in victory,
“Yes, yes, I win!”

Their shouting was loud - as it
Attracted a group,
Soon rolled dozens, the finches
Now a coop

“What is it you’ve done?”
Inquired a bird
“What was that howling we’ve
So painfully heard?”

The hero was stumped
How was he to state
That the Elder’s voice was
Not their final dictate!

As he opened his mouth
A distraction was made
The Prophet strode closer -
His face veiled in the shade

“So you are the one”
The old man announced
“Who beckoned the Elders
With one fateful joust”

The birds seemed anxious
What was to occur?
I will let you children,
About this, confer

* *

The old man looked ‘round
As if awoken from a trance
He must respite before
His advance

Still to this moment,
The brood had no thought
Of the fascinating tale to
The children he’d taught

“Come on gramps!
You’re wasting our time!”
As if almost in unison
The children all chimed

“Forgive me young ones
I’ll get back to the story”
“Yeah, you better old man,
You’re startin’ to bore me”

Ahhem.. Oh
Yes, yes, that’s there we
Were, the climax of ages
Had begun to concur!

As was held earlier
The Prophet had attended -
Amidst the gloom and
Murk he so quietly had blended

Our hero budged nearer
Raised his voice and
Said bleak:
“Indeed I am the
Soul, the bird
That you seek”

The wise prophet answered
“You my son, shall come with me -
For you will fulfill the

So the finches conversed
And sought out a plan,
To take all advantage
Of their petite wingspan

When over and done
The pair took to the town
To announce their plot
To occur on sundown

“We require you all
And your utmost attendance
For a performance that appears
In the all Sun’s resplendence

“For such a show -
There is no room for deviation
There you will witness a hero’s

And so the birds continued,
Anxious at best
Awaiting the hero’s
Last, fateful quest

Slowly it came
His time of horizon
The peak of his life,
His one chance to surprise them

When all had emerged
And had arrived
Our hero progressed,
No longer could he hide

“You’ve been called here today
To view an event-
I will perform flight, with out
The Elder’s consent”

The crowd gasped in disbelief
“Why that isn’t right
Though you may flap
With all your might -
You will not fly!”

“I hear you my friend
And although you ring clear
There is simply nothing
You birds have to fear”

“My moment has come,
Albeit you will rebel
It is now time to
Bid you farewell”

And with that he was gone
As he slid off his heel
Utterly unaware of what this
New world would conceal

He flapped his small wings,
“I knew it!!” he yelled
As gradually upward his
Movement propelled

He flew and he flew,
He would never grow tired!
He glanced at the birds,
As they marvelously admired

He glided around for a moment
Or two, and headed lower -
Downward he flew

And then he fell

He was doing so well
He made but one mistake!
He didn’t apprehend how
the wind would take

It gusted him down
At an alarming rate,
He tucked in his neck -
In attempt to anticipate

Yet to no avail was the
Movement of his esophagus -
He just spiraled down
Towards the urban metropolis

He was spinning so fast
He was out of control!
He rocked!
And he flew!
And he spun!
And he rolled!

And he hit a car!

And he died!

And then the driver got out!
And then he-

“Whoa now grandpa, I
Think that’s enough,
To tell you the truth;
Your story?

It sucked .

The author's comments:
I do hope it is not too long

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This article has 10 comments.

RichieMcRich said...
on Jun. 5 2011 at 12:05 am
This is amazing. Truly, utterly, amazing. 'KICK' or whatever his name is, knows nothing about poetry. Or anything for that matter. This is fantastic. You, Sam, could do this for a living. As somone said earlier, you have a gift. So you use it :)

on Jun. 9 2009 at 11:14 am
it was long, but, i liked it. the end is pretty funny. (btw kick, a poem is anything you want it to be and sam's was awesome) so there.

Jaquie BRONZE said...
on Jun. 8 2009 at 4:43 pm
Jaquie BRONZE, West Palm Beach, Florida
3 articles 0 photos 407 comments

Favorite Quote:
This is certainly one of my favorites: "I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes." -2 Samuel 6:22

Great job. And I also feel that poetry is an expression of the heart. And sometimes the heart needs a laugh. Just because the rest of us are all dark, depressing, or heartbroken, doesn't mean you have to be. Keep writing.

God bless,


P.S. I loved the ending.

on Jun. 7 2009 at 11:14 pm
Wow. That poem is amazing.

Dont listen to kick, I loved the ending(although it was a bit sad :). And the beginning and middle for that matter. Dont let anyone stop you from writing what you want. You have a gift, use it. :)

on Jun. 7 2009 at 9:58 pm
Something_Underneath SILVER, Ozawkie, Kansas
6 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
I said I'd fight back. I didn't say that I'd fight fair.

This is one of the best poems I've read on here, if not the best so far.

on Jun. 7 2009 at 5:50 pm
xXsmileXx PLATINUM, St. Louis, Missouri
34 articles 0 photos 266 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Your dreams only become intangible when you stop reaching" ~me ;)

Well i thought it was a good poem. You can use poetry for anything...including comedy. If every poem was serious and telling tales of heartbrake and sorrow, optimism would no longer exist. So... way to go.

on Jun. 7 2009 at 5:50 pm
Dandelion PLATINUM, Franklin, Massachusetts
20 articles 8 photos 173 comments
Sam is absolutely correct. I loved this poem and I agree with AJ K.: "You can use a poem for anything."

on Jun. 4 2009 at 4:46 pm
AJ Krzysko BRONZE, Tower Lakes, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 8 comments
it was a good poem. kick has no idea what they are talking about. you can use a poem for anything.

Sam said...
on Jun. 3 2009 at 11:43 pm
Seriously? Don't tell me how to write my poems. And forgive me if I'm wrong, but I can't recall anything that forbids me from using a poem for a humorous a effect - and a small one at that. The end was meant to be disheartening by the way.

on Jun. 3 2009 at 9:18 pm
KICK3593 PLATINUM, Roslyn Heights, New York
49 articles 0 photos 74 comments
Pardon me for skipping to the end, but the end is very disheartening. If anything, a poem should not be used for comedy. "It sucked"? Come one....


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