Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers -- Sphyrapicus varius, get the juices flowing around a poem by Edouard Roditi:
"The Nature of Knowledge"
'From the marketless star whose staple is poetry,
In the huge perspective of deadly wisdom,
Behold how lines meet only in illusion.
Only there, in the endless end, can you watch
The incredible dream changing, changing,
Equal to itself, in change most changeless.
Knowledge, with its almanacs and catalogues
Outdated daily, knows no end
And no beginning. Be but wise,
Not knowing; discerning, not good; or else
Join the killers and the killed who wrangle,
Come peace or war, in courage and conviction.
In the veering hesitancy of a breeze
That’s free to blow, but knows no aim,
See this world’s slavery, constrained
By aimlessness, an ignorance.
On the empty shore, the gull and the clown
Swap wisdom in long dialogues
Where neither understands the other.
But fate, patron saint of all fools,
Dovetails each answer to fit its question;
And none’s the wise, nor more foolish,
Though this feathered Socrates and spangled Kant
Agree or disagree with the ebb and flow
Of culture, another moon-ruled tide.
And knowledge, wise as a wave or a woman,
Follows its course from nowhere to nowhere.
In love’s swift foretaste of death
When the unblinking eye sees the Beast in Beauty
There’s sudden knowledge, soon forgotten
As the heart returns to its stubborn task.
Wonderful as water in a glass
And as common, sleep each night
Slakes our thirst for what we once knew
That unremembered now teases our memory.
In the anagram of a dream concealed
The great fear lurks, to be deciphered
If you know the key, else you must wait
For the dreamless night that leads to no dawn.
Then all knowledge, vouchsafed at last,
Is useless as ignorance, and who cares?
In death’s same boat, the wise and the fool
Drift forever, each unaware of the other.' ~ "The Nature of Knowledge" by Edouard Roditi