Magpie Sonata

by Mark Terrill

The black and white of it all;
ancient majestic oak trees
blasted over in the storm
entire rows of birch and poplar
knocked down flat across
undulating country roads and fields.
But the magpies’ nest high in the ash
is still there and the magpies too
I hear them as I come up the driveway,
reconciled by their presence
the diametrical opposition
of their twotone colorscheme
(with that iridescent shimmer
of metallic cobalt blue),
gracefully united in the
complementary relationship
that some munificent god
might have given them
their clacking tempestuous chatter
oneonone, backandforth,
blackandwhite
ringing in my ears like some
avian Scarlatti sonata
swiftly hacked out on a
vintage Underwood typewriter.