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Birds of Gathering Light

Poem by Hal Walter

Climate – May 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Bluebirds back early

in January

bright blue males flitting from

fencepost to fencepost as

I run along the road

sometimes they get lost

in the sky

Gray day in February

golden eagle streaks downward

snow flies like a puff of smoke

as eagle slams into raven

then lays flat on its kill

guarding it from me

Chickadee climbs the pine walks

out on a branch

upside down and turns its head

For a long time I hear the sandhill cranes

but can’t find them

croaking voices far off and high

then I see the loose-knit flock

and I look away

now they are invisible

but I still hear them

Redtail hawk circling circling

circling circling


directly overhead

Equinox is hawk’s cycle of power

creativity and vision

Last day of March killdeer

cries out in a blizzard distant

somewhere down by the frozen creekbed

the water is already flowing

Soon there will be mallards

paired on the ponds