Mourning dove blues

Mourning doves are said to symbolize providence, grace, peace, safety, renewal, and moving forward. Their low-pitched song sounds sad or comforting, depending on the listener. I dedicate this lament to the dove outside my kitchen window, whose plaintive murmur I hear in the dark, just before sunrise.

grim gray morning

grim gray news

grim gray outlook

grim gray blues

time to shelter

time to snooze

time to waken

time to muse

dream to endure

dream to choose

dream to escape

dream . . . a ruse

morning to ponder

morning to lose

morning pours out in

mourning dove coos


Photo: Nesting mourning dove. Katy Tegtmeyer. CC BY

32 thoughts on “Mourning dove blues

  1. Amazing poem. Funny how the blues can be such a powerful muse. I’d love to use this poem with my students. Would you mind? I just think that it’s got such a nice rhythm, and the rhymes have meaning. Mostly, though, I like how it springs from just pausing to listen, respond, and then play with words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much and absolutely – please use with the students! I would love to know how that goes. I was listening to the rhythmic sounds of the dove one dark morning this week and the first four lines leapt into my head as one entity, hanging onto each other. The rhythm was just there. I followed the beats afterward to see where this would lead. There’s one more beat in the last four lines. Might be fun to put to music. Also fun for kids maybe to analyze what each line means – that’s what I’d love best, seeing their interpretations as compared to my thoughts as I wrote. Not to mention the mourning dove symbolism … do take and use it. What an honor – your words have made my day. Be safe & well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the spareness and the progression of this poem. The stream of consciousness format, the “ease” of expression and rhyme, like an Olympic athlete, you make it look easy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Diane … the cooing sound of the dove inspired the rhythm, I think. The first four lines WERE easy; they just appeared. Every section after got harder and I didn’t think I’d get the last four lines to work out at all – I so wanted to end with the sound of the dove. So your words mean a lot to me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and for these beautiful words in response, Maureen! That adds another layer of meaning, the doves traveling in pairs (sometimes threes, I read). Meaning – not alone. 🙂


  3. Our day started off gray, too. We have doves aplenty here, so much so that I’ve almost come to dismiss their calls, frequent as they are; it’s the songbirds of spring that capture my attention on my daily walks. Looking out the window, I see our sunshine returning…
    Your poem is pensive. It seems time in our thoughts has grown exponentially during this event, because of the circumstances or the actual cause or a combination of both. I am trying to use an outward meditation focusing on my senses when I can, especially when I am walking outdoors, if only to stave off the thoughts your mourning dove provoked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Today is gloriously sunny and I think I am going walking around the church with my son even though I’ll have to wear my orthopedic shoe! Haven’t worn it in the house at all these past two weeks … pensive is a great word, Chris. This is a pensive poem. There are layers of thought and feeling. The morning was dark and as I listened to the cooing I did feel blue, but, not without hope. It is interesting to see how people interpret the poem/the dove as a harbinger of sorrow or comfort. Or both.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ah – so happy that you sense calm and a way forward. Interesting to see different interpretations … based on readers’ states of mind. I didn’t want it to be wholly mournful. Thank you, lyrical-miracle friend. 🙂


  4. I love your repetition and wordplay throughout this poem – your use of morning/mourning was powerful. For me, the most powerful line was “dream…a ruse.” I’m not quite sure if I’m supposed to dream OF a ruse, or if the act of dreaming ITSELF is just a ruse. I love that it’s vague, and that I’m left as a reader to decide what I’m going to do with that line.

    Thank you for this slice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dream … a ruse … I suppose it could be taken any number of ways. It could be dreaming OF a ruse, as in a way out of despair, etc. It could be that dreaming is a ruse, a way to assuage oneself. It could be that there’s no point in dreaming. Or that one can’t sleep well enough to dream. If you like I won’t tell you what I was thinking so you can take it your own way. 🙂 Thanks so much for these words!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’d love to know what you were thinking, actually. I don’t see it as a matter of getting the interpretation “right” or “wrong,” so hearing the way you thought of it would be pretty cool.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, in the end it is the what the reader brings to the reading that matters. Ok then … all this takes place in the morning so it’s not really dreaming but daydreaming – of how to endure the sudden changes in the world, the shelter-at-home, the uncertain economy – how long? How bad? How hard? Dream to choose and dream to escape – daydreaming of both those things but neither will happen, so dreaming of them is a ruse.

        -There you have it. Hope it’s not disappointing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not disappointing at all. What a thoughtful consideration. And I can picture you in those twilight-y moments of the day, going back and forth between those visions.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Your photo reminded me of one that I took of a pair two days before my grandmother passed away. They let me get so very close that I could’ve reached out and touched them. I wonder if perhaps they were a sign from above & giving me providence for the days to come. This piece is leaving me to ponder now.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s