Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A poem...about pelicans


I've discussed in these post on several occasions the uneasy balancing act between my enjoyment--actually, make that awe--I feel when out in nature, especially when seeing birds, and the deep sorrow I experience at the thought of how swiftly it is all disappearing.

On our way back from our Missouri trip at the beginning of April (as described in my post "Birdy Missouri"), we saw a flock of American white pelicans wheeling over us in Keokuk, Iowa. There's something about pelicans that always takes my breath away, just a little bit. Then crossing back into Illinois, the spaciousness and subtle beauty of the fields, stretching endlessly to the horizon, even in their degraded state actually made me cry a little at the thought of how fragile the land truly is.

I opened up my notebook and dashed down a few lines, which later (ummm...largely written at work, which is why I blog under an assumed name!) became this poem. I hope you like it.

Pelicans -- by Esmerelda Crow

Pelicans sear the air above you, a prayer in black and white,
The fields below so vast that they could never meet the skies.
Don’t blink for one instant or it will disappear from sight.

The air seems somehow ponderous with the silence of their flight;
The prairie’s lost integrity surely foreign to their eyes.
Pelicans sear the air above you, a prayer in black and white.

You gaze to the horizon, wondering how you might,
If you could take wing with them, see the landscape’s new disguise;
Don’t blink for one instant or it will disappear from sight.

You wonder, has it passed already, the moment you could fight,
Or was the damage done so suddenly, before you could recognize?
Pelicans sear the air above you, a prayer in black and white.

The prairie seems eternal in this hesitant twilight.
The eternity of the sunset does not seem to hold surprise;
Don’t blink for one instant or it will disappear from sight.

If this were the last evening that you could look up to the skies
Would you bow you head in sorrow, or fill the air with cries?
Pelicans sear the air above you, a prayer in black and white;
Don’t blink for one instant or it will disappear from sight.

1 comment:

  1. Your poem is beautiful! It's true, learning to really love any aspect of nature is learning how necessary and fragile all of it is. It can make you feel so sad. I think it's important to hold hard to the joy, so you have the strength to keep caring! Mom PS I love pelicans!

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