Poetry Month #24: Sandhill Cranes Pantoum by Ursula Moeller

One of the most read poems on the blog–Poetry Month #24

Miriam's Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond

Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache

Orion overhead, nature’s cycles,
our sunrise breath hangs smoking
frozen silhouettes reflect in water
like Japanese painting strokes

our sunrise breath hangs smoking
shrill crane’s ancient honking
like Japanese painting strokes
karoo karoo greets a newborn day

crane’s ancient honking in minor key
night-frost crystals encrust
karoo karoo greets a newborn day
gangly stiff knees bend backwards

night-frost crystals encrust
like mine of a sometime morning
cold stiff knees bend backwards
legs slender as lakeside sedges

sometimes like mine of a morning
limbs barely support feather bustle
legs slender as lakeside sedges
red-capped cranes mate for life

limbs barely support feather bustle
daily quest for winter’s food
red-capped cranes mate for life
coyote lurks behind tamarisk

daily quest for winter’s food
undulating necklace pink at dawn
coyote lurks behind tamarisk
wingbeats whistle, necks extend

crane-necklace undulates, pink at dawn
silhouettes overhead reflect in water
wingbeats…

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Cranes by Ray Zimmerman

Cranes
Ray Zimmerman

Their voices
call to my ears,
pull my eyes skyward,
heard before sighted,
Sandhills from Michigan.

Cranes overhead
wing southward,
call my thoughts to fly with them
to Okefenokee
or the Gulf Coast of Florida.

The cranes arrive,
bring their news of winter,
their voice compared to barking
geese, to the bugling
of wild elks.

These are no geese,
their words no honk,
no barnyard bark for them.
It is a rattling coo,
doves amplified 1000 times.

Arrows shot from a bow,
they neither swoop nor slow,
they rocket southward,
abandon me here
rooted to the ground.

“Cranes” appears in Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets It previously appeared the the Chattanooga Chat, Newsletter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society, Chattanooga Chapter.
 

Glass by Ethan Stern at LewAlle Gallery