Lucille Lang Day, What the Tortoises Know

What the Tortoises Know            Galápagos Islandsby Lucille Lang Day On Genovesa, as my husband layon the beach of Darwin Bay,a sea lion came to sniff his toesand a red-footed booby, sittingwith her chick in a mangrovenearby, let me get kissing-close. On North Seymour, the frigate birdsweren’t fazed by me, andContinue reading “Lucille Lang Day, What the Tortoises Know”

The Blue Booby by James Tate

The Blue Boobyby James Tate The blue booby liveson the bare rocksof Galápagosand fears nothing.It is a simple life:they live on fish,and there are few predators.Also, the males do notmake fools of themselveschasing after the youngladies. Rather,they gather the blueobjects of the worldand construct from them a nest—an occasionalGaulois package,a string of beads,a piece ofContinue reading “The Blue Booby by James Tate”

The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro

The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro Translated from the Swedish by John Matthias and Lars-Håkan Svensson Late one afternoon in October I hear them for the first time: loud-voiced palavering, whistles, murmurs, quarrels, bickering and warbling, croaking and chatter in the high plane trees of the street. The leaves are all turning yellow this time ofContinue reading “The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro”

Japanese Poems by Cynthia Zarin

Japanese Poemsby Cynthia Zarin Between the bent boughsof the splayed sumac the silverowl rests his head. The perimeterleft by your absence is longto walk in one day. The angel in hercredenza of extreme beautydogs swim the river I look for my heartby the lamp where the light isskitter in the wet black leaves PHOTO: UralContinue reading “Japanese Poems by Cynthia Zarin”

North of Santa Monica by Carter Revard

North of Santa Monica by Carter Revard It’s midnight in a drizzling fog on Sunset Avenue and we are walking through the scent of orange blossoms and past a white camellia blown down or flung by someone onto rainblack asphalt waiting for the gray Mercedes sedan to run over and smash its petals and leaveContinue reading “North of Santa Monica by Carter Revard”

Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shores by Duane Niatum

Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shoresby Duane Niatum A castaway blown south from the arctic tundrasits on a stump in an abandoned farmer’s field.Beyond the dunes cattails toss and bend as snappyas the surf, rushing and crashing down the jetty. His head a swivel of round glances,his eyes a deeper yellow than the winter sun,he wondersContinue reading “Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shores by Duane Niatum”

The Jain Bird Hospital in Delhi by William Meredith

The Jain Bird Hospital in Delhiby William Meredith Outside the hotel window, unenlightened pigeonsweave and dive like Stukas on their prey,apparently some tiny insect brother.(In India, the attainment of nonviolenceis considered a proper goal for human beings.)If one of the pigeons should fly into the illusion of my window and survive (the body is noContinue reading “The Jain Bird Hospital in Delhi by William Meredith”

Porch Swing in September by Ted Kooser

Porch Swing in Septemberby Ted Kooser The porch swing hangs fixed in a morning sunthat bleaches its gray slats, its flowered cushionwhose flowers have faded, like those of summer,and a small brown spider has hung out her webon a line between porch post and chainso that no one may swing without breaking it.She is sayingContinue reading “Porch Swing in September by Ted Kooser”

The Invisible Birds of Central America by Craig Arnold

The Invisible Birds of Central Americaby Craig ArnoldFor Alicia PHOTO: Toucan, Costa Rica by Tanja Wilbertz on Pixabay, used by permission. NOTE: The toco toucan (Ramphastos toco), also known as the common toucan or giant toucan, is the largest and probably the best known species in the toucan family. It is found in semi-open habitats throughout a large part of central andContinue reading “The Invisible Birds of Central America by Craig Arnold”

Driving in Oklahoma by Carter Revard

Driving in Oklahoma by Carter Revard On humming rubber along this white concrete, lighthearted between the gravities of source and destination like a man halfway to the moon in this bubble of tuneless whistling at seventy miles an hour from the windvents, over prairie swells rising and falling, over the quick offramp that drops toContinue reading “Driving in Oklahoma by Carter Revard”