In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • From Warblers
  • Jonathan Skinner (bio)


Dendroica castanea


wishing well-wishersbecause you rode all the waythings of each possibleindistinct lispingseries of 3 to 10        see or see-se

count the clear whistlesin small openings as bogsstorms migrants pass inland        lack convincing#160;       #160;       documents

when caterpillar break-outsspeak love and greenbeloveds, trees branchedlos dedos metalicos [End Page 117]

oh yes we fixed it twistsoh yes 'fess to a thistle

during budworm outbreaksgleaned needle clusterssteppin' all the way

appears long-wingedw/ dark legs and feeteye sees I seize sleet

and spoke of the armyover rooftop bedschip chop a swill away

me acerco me separobetween the handsnest saddled horizons

sluggish and deliberatetail is as pumped

during the bombingthe populations cycle

or grouped in unevenaroma de yerbascolors, love and squawk

and when traveling foragelower, Darién'sseven percent declineis Istmina's loss

white spots in the tailcorners high sibilant tees [End Page 118]


Wilsonia citrina


area sensitive forest-songbirds hear fearswithin the wait

of dark loral spotscinnabar renditions

extra-pair matingsystems and post-fledgling cares

head switches and grapplingin the airsnapping the billwhite on dark outers

yellow as yellow flowersheld in place withfine grasses, soft innerbark, plant-down &animal hair wrappedin spider's web

an open cup woven ofleaf skeleton coats

wing droops accentthe cheek patchesgold and the black bib

do we, do we get rid of youwilting, writing feathers, blowstoughness repairs reveals its light [End Page 119]

disperses to territoriesits limbic boon

if you had me would you waitin small fragmentsPeñuela, persistentsinger of high concealedperches

hovering at leaf surface

I wish you in my weirdending strictlyCarolinian Alvaradomilky iguanahere, hello, had we heardin the heat            seet

Jonathan Skinner

Jonathan Skinner's poetry collections include Birds of Tifft (2010), With Naked Foot (2009), and Political Cactus Poems (2005). He founded and edits the journal ecopoetics (, which features creative-critical intersections between writing and ecology. Skinner also writes ecocriticism on contemporary poetry and poetics: his essays on the poets Ronald Johnson and Lorine Niedecker appeared in volumes published by the National Poetry Foundation and by University of Iowa Press. His essay "Thoughts on Things: Poetics of the Third Landscape" appeared recently in the Eco Language Reader, edited by Brenda Iijima (2010). Skinner teaches in the Environmental Studies Program at Bates College, in central Maine, where he makes his home.


Most warblers emerge from the following limiting factors: (1) acquaintance: add the bird to your "life list" before writing; (2) voice: listen to the bird's song, translating its rhythm and pitches; (3) plumage: note the bird's color and pattern; (4) behavior: attend to habitat and details of foraging, breeding, nesting, and migration; (5) range: name a faraway place, since warblers link humans across hemispheres; (6) languages: include words from poets writing in the North as well as the South—warblers feed on both sides of the border; (7) nonsense: acknowledge that warblers are restless, hard to see, and give you a crick in the neck.

Warbler diets: Bay-breasted—Juliana Spahr/Reina Maria Rodriguez; Hooded—Robert Kocik/Dolores Dorantes [End Page 120]



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