Winging it through the world

World Shorebirds Day 2016

The global count of shorebirds will be from 2 to 2 September. More information at https://worldshorebirdsday.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/global-shorebird-counting-2016-registration/

In 2014, participants were invited to sketch the birds they saw; see some of the results at https://worldshorebirdsday.wordpress.com/programs/sketching-artists/2014-shorebird-arts/

image2 stiltsBlack-winged stilts in Japan by Narisa Togo

 

Shore Birds

While I think of them they are growing rare
after the distances they have followed
all the way to the end for the first time
tracing a memory they did not have
until they set out to remember it
at an hour when all at once it was late
and newly silent and the white had turned
white around them then they rose in their choir
on a single note each of them alone
between the pull of the moon and the hummed
undertone of the earth below them
the glass curtains kept falling around them
as they flew in search of their place before
they were anywhere and storms winnowed them
they flew among the places with towers
and passed the tower lights where some vanished
with their long legs for wading in shadow
others were caught and stayed in the countries
of the nets and in the lands of lime twigs
some fastened and after the countries of
guns at first light fewer of them than I
remember would be here to recognize
the light of late summer when they found it
playing with darkness along the wet sand

by WS Merwin

Writing Life

Listen to WS Merwin speak about words in the world:

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