Wednesday, September 07, 2005


The Dusty Feather of Flight

Great red rocks tower over the Santa Ynez
and the ancient spirits of time and place seem
as real as the stone.
Young people come here restless to party and drink,
then climb the red towers and
throw themselves down to the river,
barely missing the rocks.
Some do not miss.
A few hundred feet away we walk the dirt road
lined with sedimentary rock and white sage,
and by the road
a redtail, dead from some unknown cause.
I kneel, turn it over,
gently pluck a long feather from its wing
to hand to my daughter.
Keep this, I say, it is an omen,
a gesture from the spirits to you.
Behind us the young ones throw themselves down
over and over
desperately seeking the sensation of flight.
Here is the dusty way, its creatures,
its gifts,
this poem a feather.

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