Thursday, January 24, 2013

Avias Sward



image borrowed from bing


Avias Sward

“Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men
is primarily based on mutual trust.”
--Albert Einstein


It is early morning,
and a light fog lies
like a holy shawl over 
San Francisco bay.

The sun peeks its fiery brow
up over the jagged lip
of the Sierra Nevada to the east;
most of the skyscrapers downtown
find some of their glass catching
searing rays of fire--
orange, yellow, & violet.

Flashes of tiny green wing their way
from the dozens of parks
and secret nesting places
all over that part of the city.

Larger than sparrows,
but smaller than pigeons,
these strong green-tinted fliers
darting in and out of the palm fronds
and thick grey-green deciduous leaves
are red-crowned Conures--
small but mighty wild parrots.

The reddish feathers on their heads,
and the red slash around their feral eyes
seems to deepen in color
as the sun’s early shards
catch them flying eastward.

Alcatraz winks white across
the narrow waist of the bay,
as the sea breeze picks up--
creating white caps
and swirling wind snakes across
the disturbed surface of the water.

In the near distance,
the Golden Gate bridge
is clearing itself of low clouds
as stiff winds blow the morning mists
off its red steel superstructure & cables.

Riding the thermals & twisting
through the breakfast breezes,
three lone Conures become seven,
then twelve, then fifty--some
invisible instinct guiding them,
letting them congregate into
a noisy squawking flock--
like some living feathered sky design,
one arial beast with many hearts,
soaring, beating their blurred wings;

moving as one mass, yet barely
held together with its configuration
shifting, while maintaining itself
as one avian articulated body
bending gracefully
and thrusting itself through the air--

its leaders making sudden
sharply banked turns, where
the out flyers had to swing wide
and strain to keep up,
just before the formation tightened, flying
as one tremendous throb of viridescence
past the Cafe Trieste, whizzing past
the stark white obelisk of the Coit Tower;

nearly a perfect lesson for
the struggling partisan throngs below. 


Glenn Buttkus

January 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?

17 comments:

Brian Miller said...

mmm nice...great metaphor over all...in how the birds work together in their flying...saw a mess of starling the other day and it was cool just to watch them flying and bending through the air in a rather choreographed dance....great closure on this sir..bringing it relevant...to where we are...the partisan crowd...

David Chamberlain Jr said...

Lovely poetic visuals. You have a great voice for reading poetry. Very nice work.

Claudia said...

oh you took me back to san francisco with this...was also visiting the coit tower when i was there...awesome murals inside there...so very cool glenn

raivenne said...

I love the tour of the city. I haven't had the pleasure of a visit, but I can easily imagine it all. The sights, how the birds work together, all of it.

"nearly a perfect lesson for
the struggling partisan throngs below."

Just Perfect.

Anna Montgomery said...

I love SF and saw a documentary years ago on the parrots of Telegraph Hill so you had me hooked from the beginning. Your apt and colorful descriptors made this a scrumptious read. Love where you took the prompt.

Manicddaily said...

Ha - love this - one of my favorite cities. It is so beautiful, and love the idea of a design in the sky.

like some living feathered sky design,
one arial beast with many hearts,
soaring, beating their blurred wings

THanks. k.

Yousei Hime said...

The chaotic yet graceful flight of birds . . . we find inspiration all around us, don't we. As Brian said, the process can be a lot like what we see. I enjoyed the imagery very much.

Gretchen Leary said...

The words "feral eyes" stuck out in my mind the entire rest of the poem. There is so much meaning in those two words alone. I felt like your poem gave me an amazing snapshot of a skyline. Very inspiring! :)

Laurie Kolp said...

Yo know I love birds... this is delightful, Glenn.

Mystic_Mom said...

An avian wonder. Love birds, love this poem.

Jennifer Ratcliffe said...

The birds moving as one turning and tightening before their final formation. Like a beautiful comparison to how creativity works

pandamoniumcat said...

Oh this is wonderful, I have the Parrots of Telegraph Hill, and it was such a heartbreaking and beautiful story...still filled with hope, but I love how you bring the scene together like a moving painting and then the uturn. Nice.

lucychili said...

i did not know you had parrots like this. we have then here and yes birds are collectively articulate folk =)

rumoursofrhyme said...

Enjoyed the metaphor - each bird able to control only itself, but using its innate skills to maintain harmony with 'mind' of the whole flock - it is kind of like the way we are creative with words, isn't it?

Kim Nelson said...

Firstly, thank you for the vicarious trip to one of my favorite cities. I could hear the sounds of the city by the bay and smell the aromas, pleasing and then not so, as I read your piece. And you rightly elaborate on the Einstein quote, in a very natural way. I always think of this truth when driving... we really do trust one another very, very much. And it is good.

Marina Sofia said...

Am sure San Francisco would inspire anyone. This is very closely observed, shows a real love of nature and the 'moral' is written with a such a light touch. I liked this a lot!

Anonymous said...

Mind bending.......