A 4-color reduction linocut
12" x 6" print size
14" x 8" paper size
Hand printed on BFK Rives paper
Price includes shipping within the U.S.
A copy of the poem will come with the print.
Who took a look at this carrot-topped bird
in his herringboned jacket and ashy underpants,
hitching his way up an insect-rich tree,
and named him Red-Bellied Woodpecker?
If I held him in the palm of my hand, belly up, riffled
the pale feathers between his naked legs—perhaps
a blush? Not enough for an ID at 30 paces.
Not enough for a name.
Who ignored this pecker’s crowning glory?
His tangerine-orange cap stretched from beak to nape?
Why not Orange-Coiffed Woodpecker?
The name hasn’t been taken.
Not in the woodpecker world.
Not in our corner of New England. We have
Downy and Hairy and Pileated Woodpeckers.
Elsewhere: Black-Backed, Ladder-Backed, Three-Toed,
Golden-Fronted, Red-Cockaded, and Red-Headed.
No more Ivory-Bills. Alas!
My Orange-Coiffed Woodpecker has swagger,
like Cyrano de Bergerac—swashbuckler, poet, balladeer.
Both flaunt notable noses
and plenty of panache.
What Rough Beasts
Littoral Books, 2021