Red Headed Woodpecker

Who knew?

I am an internet junkie.

It never occurred to me that my iPad was an appendage without which I felt pangs of a hermitage I have created.

Usually,I check my email hourly. I read the blogs of all my personal poets each day

(I read my own blog too, now that is just not right!) I check the news a dozen times a day, keep the Weather Channel up and running, and watch a dozen or so movies a day.

After Four days lacking cyber link, I have survived the twitches and twinges but am developing the shakes.

The pretty sparkling icons to Fakebook and the Weather channel float across the screen, but I know the emptiness of the message that lies behind them. “Your server cannot be located.”

  And I feel miserably and frighteningly alone.

 Who knew? Because I was born a letter writer, I still know how to write a handwritten epistle, send birthday cards through the mail. This diatribe itself was scrawled across a piece of recycled paper with a bit of flint and ash from the BBQ. The library is four blocks away. I could read a book. But it doesn’t have that feel. That ping that rings across the Ethernet.

I wrote my friends in the Peace Corps letters each month so they could feel the touch of home. (the stamps I order off the net and print em up right off my in-reach printer)

(the post office also gives me the heebie-jeebies) I’m not sure if I can take Xanex and Nyquill, I need WebMD for that.

The gray sky prompts me to tap the Weather Underground icon. Nothing. I know there’s nothing, but  addiction means I keep trying. Even knowing the result will be the same or the same.

I can’t even call the Time and Temperature on my landline because the phone line was vindictively disconnected.

My cell phone has 42 minutes left. I text a friend in Virginia begging him to tell me what the radar looks like in Colorado. He doesn’t know for sure which of the rectangular states is Colorado. He wonders why there are so many cities in Colorado that start with Fort ……. And he’s heard it never rains in Colorado.

I can’t even add minutes to my cheap cell phone because that requires connection to www.getrippedoffonewayortheother.gone

I can’t sleep without my warm iPod flickering Andy Griffith Show reruns along my palm. I lie awake and listen to the only vestige of technology remaining: Some classical music on my mp3 player.

I don’t know how to find out my bank account balance, other than drive down there and ask. I don’t know my account number. It’s stored on one of my links.

My only diversion is a Red Crested Woodpecker who, until this week, I have grown to hate. He has driven me to a daily 4 am wake up and deep desire for a pellet gun.

I envy his morse code-evolved iron beak that allows him to call his friends, eat heartly, and fully entertain himself on a rotting, hollow cottonwood tree. He eyes me as I throw a tennis ball at him but he has no fear, airborne at 25 feet.

Between drummings though, he listens. He hears what I hear.

The silence of non-response. His downy mate has fled or is dead under the claws of my monstrous cat. I don’t even know if Red Crested Downy Woodpeckers are migratory birds because I would have to Google images to see if he is what I think he is.

I want to throw a loop of fishing line around his crest. Wondering if he will take me with him or if he can carry messages like old tin can phones. Maybe he knows how to connect the line to the wires, inches from his feet.

I think I can hear him laugh.

Who knows?

That would take Wikipedia.


  1. ahh the woodpecker of life… true Cherokee wisdom cuz… woodpeckers always find food… perhaps for you food of thought without the completely over- saturated denials and liars and such happenings facebook procures. ahh I say send up your smoke signals. watch the sky on your own. you were more accurate anyways. . I will be watching for your signals .and that is a wrap…the shoe does fall. life takes a dive. I intend to and have always kept as even as a keel ….. high noon was on my television today.. I remarked to my sister… yes we faced our high noon alone. and no gary cooper showed up. but cuz I am able to do the downward facing dog with my left wrist..peace in your world

  2. I assumed I was alone in my dependences. I, too, am a letter writer. But that left me a sender and almost never a receiver. Email has cured that to a degree. My reliable emailers are also letter writers who appreciate the speed. Re: woodpecker. We have a small black and white and red one in my community. I am told it is territorial tapping. Now I’m wondering if for him it is all a waste and there is not another female within miles. BTW I loved the poem even as I commiserated.

    1. Yes, letter writing is a bit of a lost art. And a bit like talking to oneself, therefore working nicely for me. I wonder if we could get your woodpecker and mine on the cell phone with each other or ?????

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