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Flown [Dec. 12th, 2004|06:24 am]
Long past nightfall, a large and raucous flock of waterfowl- cranes or swans or large geese of some sort- came winging northward, passing directly over my house. The moonless night concealed them from view, but their loud calls betrayed their approach. One call would be answered by another, then more, and then the whole flock would become an airborne cacophony. Then, as they were overhead, there was only the wave of flapping wings, and two or three single calls as they skimmed the treetops along the block. I could hear them departing, as the entire flock once again burst forth in some exuberant avian exchange. Two or three minutes passed before full silence fell again.

The birds must have been heading to one of the nearby lakes for a night of fishing. As dawn nears, I listen for their return, but thus far, it only the wind that has returned, brushing the pines, making them whisper and hum. No other sound breaks the placid hour, and Sunday will bring no noise of early commuters. But there is a good chance that the day will soon be wakened by the birds. If they wait until early light, I might catch a glimpse of their dim shapes as they fly south, back to the valley wetlands. It would be a nice sight to carry into my dreams.

Sunday Verse

The Kite

by Mark Strand

It rises over the lake, the farms,
The edge of the woods,
And like a body without arms
Or legs it swings
Blind and blackening in the moonless air.
The wren, the vireo, the thrush
Make way. The rush
And flutter of wings
Fall through the dark
like a mild rain.
We cover out heads and ponder
The farms and woods that rim
The central lake.
A barred owl sits on a limb
Silent as bark.
An almost invisible
Curtain of rain seems to come nearer.
The muffled crack and drum
Of distant thunder
Blunders against our ears.

A row of hills appears.
It sinks into a valley
Where farms and woods surround a lake.
There is no rain.
It is impossible to say what form
The weather will take.
We blow on our hands,
Trying to keep them warm,
Hoping it will not snow.
Birds fly overhead.
A man runs by
Holding the kite string.
He does not see us standing dark
And still as mourners under the sullen sky.
The wind cries in his lapels. Leaves fall
As he moves by them.
His breath blooms in the chill
And for a time it seems that small
White roses fill the air,
Although we are not sure.

Inside the room
The curtains fall like rain.
Darkness covers the flower-papered walls,
The furniture and floors,
Like a mild stain.
The mirrors are emptied, the doors
Quietly closed. The man, asleep
In the heavy arms of a chair,
Does not see us
Out in the freezing air
Of the dream he is having.
The beating of wings and the wind
Move through the deep,
Echoing valley. The kite
Rises over the lake,
The farms, the edge of the woods
Into the moonless night
And disappears.
And the man turns in his chair,
Slowly beginning to wake.


[User Picture]From: daisydumont
2004-12-12 02:34 pm (UTC)
i would have loved to see those birds take off. there's a large lake a few miles to the east here, and sometimes we do hear geese fly over. it always makes me think of aldo leopold's goose music.

>He does not see us standing dark
And still as mourners under the sullen sky.

beautiful poem!
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