The Whimbrels Speak

The whimbrels speak—
they strike the claw-clouded deep-set blue sky with song,
a kind of laugh, because day’s done one thinks,
they skate long legs along the grey glass of the lonely mudflats
10,000 years ago a similar journey began,
they were the hurricane that chattered,
and landed where men from low huts hunched,
they were the lode star sailing,
and a million other things,
like Venus the daystar descending,
following the dim sun’s lull into an anonymous horizon,
so they travailed to do what must be done—
sally the earth with life,
with screeching,
with pattering,
with the ardour and agonies of their collective way,
Because once we were silent like the others,
but single cells spread
we were at the beginning of a new day not it
but I,
and we talked quietly among ourselves
and dreamed aloud
and so we speak,
not willing to drown in deep space,
but scream:
HA HA
HA HA
HA HA
The whimbrels ascend,
Now their dark refrain amidst the milky way
stumbles,
makes sense to someone,
Annotates the windswept hours from which they came.

 

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