Search this website

Buzzard RSS


09 April, 2020: Buzzard

Read a Poem


by Nancy McDermott SND

That old dame up there
on the chimney drying out
puts her backside to the sunrise,
spreads her ancient wings and waits
for rising thermals,
for energy not her own
to lift her up.
Soon she’ll be searching for death.
Time has made her ready now
to feed upon the end of life.
Her head, her eyes, her beak –
this lineage she holds from days before
the asteroid that did them in –
the dinosaurs, that is.
Some would call her
charwoman, housekeeper,
architect of waste-not-want-not,
not knowing any better.
But she is a closer,
a conservator of life,
death’s dignity and
life’s promise of forward.
“Buzzard,” by Nancy Macdermott from Common Threads 2019. Used by permission of the author.
Nancy McDermott is an Ohio native, born and raised on the East side of Cleveland.  Nature is her primary inspiration but often the smallest chance encounter with deeply human events will trigger a poem. For many years she taught science and math at the high school and college levels, so these topics often find their way into her work.  Lately she has explored the topics of war and environmental destruction. Her work has been published in The Listening Eye, Sow’s Ear,  and Common Threads, and her poem “Vernal Pool” won first place in Geauga Park District’s 19th Nature Writing Contest in 2019.

Write a Poem

Robert Frost wrote a poem about his thoughts upon seeing birches. What do you think about when you see maples, oaks, gingkoes, or pines?

Linda Robiner
Nancy, What fun to see your poetry on the library website. I love Buzzards. On each rereading, it grows better and better.
Warmly, Linda
4/10/2020 3:51:25 PM

N. K. Hasen
When I See Oaks

When I see oaks towering over me
I wonder how long they’ve been there.
How many years; centuries have they witness events?
Their bark craggy with almost human faces
Look sad at what they have seen through ages.
Do they ponder what they see
And keep it hidden within their bark
Or thick leaves that surround their head?
They watch silently as time goes by them.
Probably watched a boy sit beneath
Reading a book for hours and hours.
Watched the sky turned dark
Saw the storms rolling in fierce with determination
Trying to strike them down.
Through seasons they see and hear all of what goes on.
They see construction destroy their friends
They see families gather for picnics
Under a Spring day under their full leaves.
I wonder if one day they will share their secrets
With the many things they’ve seen through the ages.
4/9/2020 9:03:51 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.