The Simple Life

The Simple Life

A bird sang at the top of a tree

A male chaffinch in full plumage,


His song strong and beautiful.

He watched me warily but did not stop singing.

He sang with all his heart

But he was not singing for me.

His song was a warning.

He had staked his claim.

His song was a boast.

It said he was powerful.

He warned off the other males.

He called out that he was here.

He was shouting that this was his patch

That he existed.

That he was strong and fit.

If he sang long enough,

With enough force.

If he sang the song of all time perfectly

She would hear it and she would come.

They would mate, nest and rear their young.

It would make his song worthwhile.

She would come.

So he sang with everything he had.

One day he might not be wary enough.

One day he might not be strong enough.

He would be eaten,

Or chased from his tree,

Succumb to the cold or hunger.

Drop from his perch.

For now he sang.

Life was simple.

She would come.

Opher – 4.5.2021

It is too easy to romanticise nature. Life is hard. You fight for your territory, assert yourself, prove yourself the most handsome, the strongest, the highest status, the one able to provide, and you are rewarded.

Life is simple.

You need food, water, shelter and a mate.

You fight for it with all you have.

If you are the best your mate will come.

If not she will select someone else.

If you are not watchful you will die.

If there is not enough food, water or the weather becomes too harsh, you will die.

So you find a place with sufficient, assert yourself; you sing.

It is a song of strength, a threat, an enticement.

You boast with all your might.

Singing is naked aggression.

If it is enough they will stay away and she will come.