Chad Norman – Doves in the feeder

Chad Norman LEP&W V2 Dec 2022

Download PDF Here 13th Anniversary
Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two December 2022.

Doves in the feeder, poems by Chad Norman.

Doves in the feeder

for people in Ukraine who love the sanity of the bird-world

After a night of no sleep
due to the inability to shed
the words of a stranger, how
he had seen me on the street
in front of the house he bought
a few years back, a house I
hardly noticed until he spoke:
“It is illegal to feed wild-life.”

On the sidewalk I chose a response
first to investigate the accusation,
asking why he hadn’t chosen another
when the world is at war, really,
what kind of man are you,
confronting me about the peanuts
I was feeding the crows following
me each day I threw them
to spots carefully chosen without
any suspicion anyone was watching,
or poised to leave his little spray-paint
hobby, revealing how the choice
of mine was about the neighbours
he pretended were displeased also,
both I knew well as strangers once too.

In the morning unrested I saw
a way to avoid him and his kind
by reversing my route, feeding
the followers first, knowing they then
will stay where I learn with them,
far away from the precious lawn
owned by the stranger, and those
he feels will be on his ignorant side.

Over a coffee and news of the war
I let go of him, never admitting
out loud he kept my mind awake,
just sitting like so many mornings
seeing clearly how birds aren’t wild-life,
both the crows he whined about, and
the trust there in front of me, choices
he wouldn’t know of, doves in the feeder,
needing no human other than one
unworried about what is left
after hunger is helped to an ending.

In Love Again…

I am in love again…the Black Crows.
I hope you know them,
if you don’t I hope you will.
Other than that I continue
chasing the filthy lucre
workin’ a saw mill job,
shutting down the poet.
So will the costume changes
lead me to where the poems can’t?
There is no low, low enough,
no lower than today’s low anywhere.
However the garden says
pick me no matter!


for Stephen Augustine

I want moon-swayed fiddles,
I want all tides,
touched with now,
what the bay
will turn to thrill, all of us
out there, distant marshes,
nobody turns back, everybody
allowed beyond that dyke.

How could water
not find our faces,
a way through
to all peoples, ready
to rinse their pasts too?

To catch tidal bores
we must forget jobs,
nothing but waves,
agedly brown, coming in,
pleased as we are.

© Chad Norman

Chad Norman lives and writes in Truro, Nova Scotia. In 1992 he was awarded the Gwendolyn MacEwen Memorial Award For Poetry, the judges were Margaret Atwood, Barry Callaghan, and Al Purdy. His poems appear in journals, magazines, anthologies around the world. A new book, A Matter Of Inclusion, is out now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.