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eagleA Rondeau Redoublé

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin
to jabber: Rhubarb, rhubarb, this is just terrible!
We have to save him—a crime, what a sin!
Reason gives way to cheap flips of the voluble.

Peahens and cocks knew long before Hannibal
orders of pecking are neat, sharp, and trim.
Be the bird who observes, stays out of the rabble.
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin

to mimic each other. It’s one way to win
a seat at the table of dimmed wits and garble.
Of neutral to cheerful, the crowds are thin.
To jabber, rhubarb, rhubarb, this is just terrible

sells better airtime and saves me the trouble
of finding perspective amidst the din.
While I’d like to be happy, it feels impossible.
We have to save him—a crime, what a sin!

The view of the eagle is much less grim
for she sees the shape of what seems insolvable.
Who receives, who inflicts are inseparable kin;
reason gives way to cheap flips of the voluble.

Let the parroting part of your mind be inaudible;
for the peace and the joy of us, new visions spin.
Unoriginal grief is the way of the gullible;
the whole forest knows re-Creation begins
when the eagles are silent.

~~~

Some of you may recognize the opening words of this rondeau. “When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber,” was first uttered by Winston Churchill. I’m hoping he won’t mind I heard a poem in it.

The title “Rhubarb, Rhubarb” comes from the non-vegetable meaning of the word as baseball slang for an argument or fight. It’s also used as rabble verbiage in theatre or film, especially when the crowd are shaking their fists.

© Elaine Stirling, 2014
Image of the eagle comes from http://www.footage.framepool.com