October 24, 2007


Like a fast-moving fog,
or a prairie fire
coming straight at my camp.

But in the San Luis Valley
the white cloud streamers
are powdered alkali,
lifted by wind from dry lake beds.

Ducks are not flying, nor the harriers
that peer at decoys for signs of life,
not red-winged blackbirds nor noisy wrens
that shoulder through dense reeds.

Only the crows ride the salty clouds
slipping and soaring,
only the crows,
because they can.

(A quasi-poem in lieu of a blog entry about the recent duck hunt. Weathered-out of Blanca Ponds again, but not entirely empty-handed.)


mdmnm said...

I always get a kick when one of those harrier hawks comes slipping in a couple of feet above the willows and then flares up as he realizes that those weren't ducks. Great account of the hunt!

Anna Mills said...

Beautiful. Reminds me of Rebecca Solnit's article on Ravens: We want to be your only bird... but perhaps that wasn't what you were getting at.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I will take a comparison to Rebecca Solnit as a big compliment.