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Sunday, April 21, 2013

About the Birds: Poetry Month and Earth Day


Since I seem to be derelict (or busy) regarding this blog, and considering that April is National Poetry Month here in the USA, perhaps it is time to share a few of my poems. And since it is also Earth Day, poems about wild birds seems appropriate.  

Please note that these poems are all copyright in my name.

My young neighbor, years ago, was passionate about raptors and had permissions from National authorities to hold and treat wild species. At any given time you might find Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, and other birds of prey in his aviaries. Cornell flew experts out to perform surgeries in extreme cases. And sometimes he worked with local wildlife vets to rehabilitate some wild birds. He once stopped by my place to show me a pygmy owl that had bumped into a car windshield that he was asked to treat and was transporting to his home up the hill. It recovered quickly, mostly from shock. The heron he tried to save didn’t make it, but I watched while he made the attempt to force-feed it. (He has since become a nationally recognized wild bird specialist with “Dr.” in front of his name.)


Feeding the Heron
I remember how my neighbor’s boy
tried to save the blue heron --   
damaged, starving – entrusted
to his care; how he trussed its wings
against the bulky body, then forced
that long sharp bill apart
to dribble in warm brandy
while his dark and gentle hand
stroked the slender throat
from pharynx to crop. “You don’t
dare move your eyes,” he said,
then told how the stiletto beak
would strike in an instant
at a moist eye’s flash
as though it were a minnow under water.