Out in the Yard by John Walker

John Walker lives in Hadley, Massachusetts. He moved to New England recently from his home in Kentucky to be with his partner. These days he spends many hours in the backyard learning about planting and birds while singing Appalachian folk songs.

Out in the Yard

Here outside is birdsong
soft in the breeze, Quietly
making springtime calls.
And still there is stress
and plenty of bad decisions
accompanied by lingering cold.

Embracing the judging bite of cold,
I sit breathing in their birdsong
thinking on my lack of decisions.
The breeze continues Quietly
dissolving my soul of any stress,
but still longing for destiny’s calls.

Through the kitchen window she calls
me in, away from the cold,
her voice warm with strained and stress.
I don’t want to un-hear my birdsong,
I’ll stay here in the breeze, Quietly
thinking about all life’s un-decisions.

Is life defined by [our] decisions?
Or defined in seasonal calls
we choose not to hear, but Quietly
ignore so as to escape the cold?
Or maybe life feels all a birdsong
and our thinking makes us stress.

There’s no need to stress
in days with no decisions,
In a world tasting of birdsong
and the beautiful avian calls.
For that I’ll stay out in the cold,
sitting, thinking, being, Quietly.

What merit is a life, Quietly?
It’s at least not a life steamrolled with stress
and working towards no end but body cold.
It’s no life chained to so many decisions
or put to the street for making bad calls.
Especially when life gifts you visions of birdsong.

Keep Quietly, defer decisions,
There is no stress if we heed no calls,
braving the cold, carried away in birdsong.