Compared to Raptors

Compared to raptors,

we’re a sorry earthbound lot,

half-blind, fearful,

with a permanent head-cold

and no sense of direction.


We lack the vulture’s

rapacious hunger,

the eagle’s breadth of vision,

the hawk’s tenacious grip.

Acknowledged masters of the air,

they ride the currents of the wind

like champions

while we tack starboard and port,

searching for a favorable gust

to carry us on our way.

One blink of their discerning eyes,

they’ve caught their prey.

One glance from their majestic roosts,

they know exactly where

the river leads.

We miss every turn

and end up carrying the canoe

through the broad morass

of fallen trees and tangled roots,

sinking ankle-deep

in the soggy ground.


I have not touched

on the gravitas of owls,

who regard us as deaf fools

unable to penetrate the darkness

or to see what’s behind us,

unworthy to be listed in their

Who’s Who of important creatures.


(originally published in Cyclamen and Swords)




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