Mountain Laurel

Within our laurel’s blooms I spy by chance

two catbirds, improvising ear to ear,

as each upon the other’s art descants.

I stand in awe of how the two cohere.

Aware of me, perhaps, they flush, and clear

the laurel, soaring to our neighbor’s orchard

and leave the scrawny poet in me tortured.

leland jamieson (click poem title to go to home page of jamieson)

In all the years we lived in the mountains of West Virginia, one of the most cherished experiences I have is of becoming familiar with Mountain Laurel. It thrives throughout the woodlands there. It is such a delicate pink flowering plant and has blooms that are so beautifully structured and intricate.

Gray Catbird courtesy of