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One lurker on the list, who contacted me privately, mentioned his fondness for Mary Oliver. She has written quite a few poems that mention birds. Here's one (not from Bright Wings) that seems appropriate to this time when the rodents on which Marsh Hawks (Northern Harriers) feed are sheltered by snow, and they do a lot more flying about than eating:

THE MARSH HAWK

The marsh hawk
    doesn't
        as other hawks do
            work his wings

like soft hinges
    to make
        progress over
            the morning marsh,

but merely,
    or so it seems,
        lays his breast upon the air,
            and the air, as if understanding,

floats him along
    with his wings open,
        and raised, just a little
            beyond the horizontal -- and in thanks perhaps

to the great crystal carrier
    of leaves and clouds --
        of everything.
            And even though his shadow

follows exactly
    his every tilt and flow, and even though
        he must know that hunger will win,
            he doesn't hurry,

but floats in wide circles
    as he gazes
        into the marshes below
            his hard beak

and the hooks of his feet, as though
    wanting something
        more lasting than meat.
            At noon he's still there

above the brambles, the grass, the flat water,
    where, in their almost stately disengagement,
        the inedible dampness and darkness
            shine.

                                    Mary Oliver

Enjoy! (those who do).

Bob Fisher
Independence, MO
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