An adult ibis perched on top of a 30 foot pine being chased off by an adult stork who then takes his perch at that same top spot.
Ibis and stork mixing into drifts of white feathers clashing and yielding.

Melancholy is too easy.

I ground in beauty and magic.

Kathy LaFollett
2 min readOct 10, 2023


The world rattles bones and stone atop tremors of rage.

Sporadic moments between cars yielding angry voices and gestures.

Banners, bumper stickers, flags, and slogans clawing for dominance with declarations of fealty to ghosts and goblins of perceived superiority. Countries fill with quiet voices turning to screams of bewilderment and sorrow and the world fills with the aftermath of humans creating their reality of righteousness through force.

Those who know nothing personally, suddenly know everything certainly. They search for a flag. And new fissures open in the thin crust of a small rock that circles a sun in an unknowable void.

Melancholy is too easy. I ground in beauty and magic if I can. Melancholy kicks the back of my skull feeding on the tremors of my bone. I starve it by feeding it good things. Wild monk and Senegal parrots feasting in our crepe myrtle filled to the top with drying seedpods. Crow and black birds calling. Ibis and stork mixing into drifts of white feathers clashing and yielding. Soft-souled dove foraging for the littlest things. Their soft-souled coos find their way through the galley of feasting flocks. Is this me being able to hear? Or them, being able to be heard?

Felix carping about where he stands compared to where he thinks he should stand refusing to fly there. He’s to my left. Complaining about something. “Here.” Whistles reminiscent of a gym teacher’s mandate in 5th grade. “Want some popcorn!” A pitched tone of a shriek that travels down my spine like electricity down a line. “Here. I want some dinner!”

“You just got over here, Felix.” Me. Trying to ground my melancholy like a finished cigarette into pavement.



“Here. Want some popcorn.”

I offer my correct hand for the day. “Well, step up then. I’ll take you back to breakfast.”

He refuses, turning 360 degrees. This is supposed to mean something. A broken compass of a directional. “Dude. Seriously. I’m trying to write prose here. Serious words. You are really screwing up my mojo, man.”

*fart sound*

I’ve read two dozen books written by two dozen successful authors about how to write. Not one of them has a chapter about writing while living with a curmudgeon parrot.

Felix. Curmudgeon, friend, barometer, and compass.