Red were those evenings
That year was to be extraordinary
Although, being my first
I had no idea
And to this day
Everything has changed

It was 2009, or maybe 2008. Not sure any more, and it really doesn’t matter. I could position myself north of our little lake and wait for the ducks to fly in. It occurred like clockwork for many days. The sun would have fallen and I would stand in the shadows making multiple exposure dreamscapes with these fast flyers. What a rush.
I have tried many times to recreate that scenario only to wait in total futility.

Flight of One Thousand

As usual
It all starts in silence
A certain tension in the air
The catapult
Locked and loaded

Scouts of ten
Survey the landscape
Circling several times
Their leaving
Belies what happens next

Flocks of one hundred
Two hundred
Move and sway
Perfected unison

Joining and breaking apart
Until finally
One thousand birds
Act as one voice
Singing the evening’s chorus

I am told by experts that it is ok and perhaps necessary for me to hate the European starling and their murmurations. They are “invasive”….although it has been storied that they were brought here purposefully. “They kill off other song birds for territory.” So I must hate them? The answer is so much more complex.
Such is life, no?
Nobody tells me to hate something without a rise of suspicion. Hate answers nothing. It brings no resolution or redemption. Neither is its weight worthy of anyone’s effort. If we close our eyes and fill our pockets with hate and animus should we wonder why we feel empty?
I love the starling’s murmurations.

Standing Still

If only I could fall
Within the depths of this beauty
In the power of the sun
While the sparks of life
Fire uncontrollably

Water has found its way
Into the ant and spider
Into the lizard and toad
It flows unfettered
And becomes the blood of life

Animals fight for dominance
Striving for tethered immortality
Birds sing and call
The din almost overwhelming
The crush of urgency
Hangs heavy in the air

Standing still in this mayhem
With the understanding
That none of it is without purpose
I am awestruck
By these ancient traditions
That flow in river and vein