My morning mourning dove


by Dave Carew

I recently had a candid conversation with myself. It took a lot of courage, but I pressed on nonetheless. “You, know,” I said to me, “living in a house five times bigger than you need may not be the swiftest way to travel.” I thanked myself for the tough-love talk and, a month later, sold my house.

When I got to my new, finally-appropriately-sized dwelling, one of the first things I discovered was I was NOT, in fact, going to be living there alone; I would be sharing my new digs with a mourning dove named Gertrude, whose nest is on my new sundeck/balcony. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Gertrude nestle around in her nest, and—like many people—absolutely love each day to hear her mourning dove call of “ooo-HOO-ooo, ooo-HOO-ooo.”

Gertrude surprised me last night (by way of Wikipedia) by revealing to me that she is not merely Gertrude. She is Gertrude and MR. Gertrude. Come to find out, the male mourning dove incubates the eggs in the morning and the female in the afternoon and night. I’m pretty sure this is why Gertrude gains several pounds every morning, then—quite remarkably—loses them everyday immediately following lunch, an otherwise counter-intuitive phenomenon.

So this has been an interesting experience: I thought I’d be alone here, but instead I have two delightful companions. Now if I could only think of a better name than Mr. Gertrude . . .

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit and “like” the page on Facebook:

Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.


Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew



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