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28 February 2024


How often have birds borne me up, instructed the beauty of existence without purpose? They say 30 minutes of birdsong resets the nervous system. In at least one way, aviary evolution is more miraculous than ours, yet their unselfconscious display never boasts.


First, a pair of ravens,

ripe from copulation (I presume)

murmur conversation

as they glide

down Sandia’s roots.


Then, after a space of silence,

to my seed cakes flit

a flock of chappy kinglets.

Their chatter surrounds, enshrouds,

engulfs; it is the auditory

equivalent of swimming at

the center of a swarmed school of fish.

Their feast betrays

no more notice of me

than of their own longevity.


There is something in a winged beast’s insensibility to consciousness: a conduit to the eternal. This kinglet is not a descendent of its ancestor; it is ancestor—descendent and ancestor both. All this, too, in a way my own sensibility prohibits.

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