Starlings (poem)


Like unwanted starlings
with their harsh shrieking,
messy droppings,
roosting in stark branches–
unwelcome, as the long,
stark and unbidden years
of the Great Depression.
Would that the dust
and drought and scarcity
rise like those uninvited pests
of speckled flocks,
never to return.
Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression. (Story in Chapter 44)


  1. Oh! We’ve suffered the bad experience of unwanted starlings! At our home in Tennessee, they tore off the vents in the soffit and built nests. Then they “left their mark” every time they flew in and out! We finally evicted them by replacing the molded-in vents with screw-in vents. Their beaks didn’t have Philips heads!

    • Wow! Can you imagine flocks of hundreds of them, or even thousands? We sometimes get them in the back yard, but thankfully they don’t stay around.

  2. I love your analogy of starlings for the Great Depression. It’s a very effective way of bringing the feeling of the time to life in only a few short lines. Brava!

      • That’s one of the (many, many) reasons I love writing. There is always the question of the best form to express what you need to express.

      • I liked that about Luanne Castle’s “Kin Types.” She “does genealogy” with a mix, urging me to try something similar.

      • That reminds me–I need to read “Kin Types”! It’s wonderful that Luanne’s work has encouraged you to branch out with yours.

  3. Great poem…atmospheric to say the least! With a sparsity of words, you create a vision. The weight of those depression years hangs heavy…

  4. Lovely poem and extended simile! Of course, it reminds me of one of my few experiences with starlings. A nesting starling at an Embassy Suites (?) in Palm Springs attacked my head when I walked on the sidewalk from our room. She dive-bombed me, pecking my head to drive me away. It kind of hurt LOL.

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