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
        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
                                    Mary Oliver
Enjoy! (those who do).
Bob Fisher
Independence, MO
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