Sunday, August 7, 2011


This was just republished on the blog Miriam's Well. It also appears in Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets, and in my chapbook, Searching for Cranes.
It was first published in The Chattanooga Chat, newsletter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society, Chattanooga Chapter.


Their voices
call to my ears,
pull my eyes skyward,
Sandhills from Michigan.

Cranes wing southward,
call my thoughts to fly with them
to Okefenokee
or the Gulf Coast of Florida.

They bring their news of winter,
their voices compared to barking
geese, to the bugling
of wild elks.

These are no geese,
their words no honk,
no barnyard bark for them.
It is a rattling coo,
doves amplified 1000 times.

Arrows shot from a bow,
they neither swoop nor slow,
they rocket southward,
abandon me here
rooted to the ground.

Cranes – According to An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols, 1978, Thames and Hudson, Ltd, London, cranes are symbols of longevity, vigilance, prosperity, protective motherhood, and happiness. Various cultures have regarded them as intermediaries between heaven and earth, heralds of spring and light, and sacred birds inhabiting the isles of the blessed.

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