It's fall...time to get up from the computer, walk outside, and look up.
Long-time Duke City Fix member Cirrelda "CC" Snider-Bryan is a resident of Albuquerque’s North Valley. She is devoted to filling notebooks — "journal as documenter." This poem comes straight out of those pages, with some tweaking done before she read it last Winter at the wonderful Treehouse reading series downtown. In addition to notebooks, she is devoted to her daughter, her spouse, and their business, La Alameda Press
Ode to Lucky Encounters
(journal Crane sightings) © 2009 by CCSB
4th Batch of Cranes
on execution day in our state.
They hit the city at
around our house
after a long stretch
Lotsa flocks of
they turn around a lot here
seeming to be deciding - is
this really where we want to be –
by the city?
flat mass of feathers
I so got to see them this early a.m.,
heard their croak directly above me
while bent over tending a potted plant on the porch.
Up my eyes and there only ten feet above our roof,
their flat underbellies gray & white
wings edged with black, sailing small group (of five?)
Swimming through air
gliding through, as in water.
Another croak, deep throated.
Peering through branches to catch sight again -
on farther now and soaring higher.
@ computer – hearing crane’s warble croak for a minute or so
before I go out to search for the flock –
@ first - a sparrow flies overhead
then a kestrel (!)
then a big flock of
I still hear the warble croak, tho
and finally see that the big flock
of maybe 30 is doing its
planing / re-grouping / circling thing
to the SW – just past neighbors’
tall cottonwood – all these birds
This morning around the same time 9:30 a.m.
that for the past 3 mornings like clockwork
they have come —
Sandhill Crane flocks
huge ones — of a hundred or more
fly right over our home & street & neighborhood
from north to south
from right to left as I head west.
They announce themselves clearly —
warble croak warble croak
or just a low-throated warble alone
and as they get closer their voices
fill the whole long rato of time.
Because we live near the river & the river forest
and there are a few fields left.
That’s why they come by here, right?
But today, just now at this same hour of sun being up for a few hours,
this one huge flock started to do its airstream-grasping dance just west.
It’s like they’re releasing pent up energy cause both their voices & movement leave their fluid streamlined V and begin to wildly fly, getting the kinks out of those hips, flapping, do-si-doing round & round,
no rhyme for a while.
With all these angles & different jerky movements
it reminds me of their diet –
I hope all the crustaceans, arthropods they get to ingest, to dig from the river mud, aren’t too full of chemicals we’ve dumped in the river – hope the grains from grasses they get to eat from the farmers’ fields haven’t been sprayed with round up and HOPE THAT THEY HAVE ENOUGH!
Hope our shared river valley builds the protein they’ll need flying back north next spring.
Because, it seems like a blessing that I get to live here
to be here to walk outside at these moments.
These beings we are privy to
these beings we share this river valley with
these beings who still migrate
THOUSANDS of miles
twice a year in their
(they are part of the element, in sky & air & soil)
from one roost way down
to the other
These beings part of our earth
part of our heart
that we too
yr size & shape
long necks, white feathers & black accents
beauteous forms in our daily life.
Submissions to The Sunday Poem are always welcome. Email TheDitchRider@gmail.com.