Planet Princeton

Poem: Jay Visits Battlefield Park

I flapped out of town to give the countryside a look
On a particularly chilly recent day. What, boss, do you think
I found, I who so enjoys my blueness? A flock that I dismissed
First as mere dusky breasted robins, those dullards, when
Seen from the rear flashed electric azure,
A full field of it, wingtip to wingtip, and I love being blue,
Especially my crest, but even I know I am striated. And
What do you think, boss, all the while they did not
Utter a sound, all ten of them, but repositioned themselves
A few at a time from brush to branch and back
Silently, just a thrushing of the air with each move.
Well, boss, it gave me pause. I’m accustomed to chatter
As you know, even harassment, but perhaps a quiet moment
From time to time would…I don’t know, I should check with
The crows.

Note to reader: A blue jay who confesses admiration for Don Marquis has learned how to tap out messages on an iPad that is left out, from time to time, within reach…it’s my intent to pass these on as I receive them.

Nat Bottigheimer

Nat Bottigheimer is a professional transportation planner and consultant with a background in public policy and real estate economics. He is currently working on TOD, streetcar, and bus dedicated lane planning projects in the Washington, DC region. He was a member of the Alexander Street University Place Task Force, and is a current member of the Princeton Traffic and Transportation and Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees. He's married to Eve Ostriker, an astrophysicist at Princeton University; and has two daughters, one at PHS. The most recent family addition is Basil, a one-year old labradoodle who gives the term "active transportation" new meaning.

  • Jennifer Plane

    This reader in Burlington, VT, had not thought about archy and mehitabel in so long. She thanks you for the reminder.

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