Swans in a Snowstorm

By the hundreds tundra swans descend
like parachutes deploying
in blizzard snow and wind.
They tumble through the air
then canopy their wings
and toggle best they can
in whiteout conditions.
Seeing them is like hallucinating,
except they come every year
to the same fields behind a police academy
in Aylmer, Ontario,
and sometimes in bitter springs
they come out of the northern sky
like a late blizzard,
like driving snow
and meet the earth running.

Crow Feather Totem I

I saw a crow feather on the road
And the sun shining in that precise shape.
I was drawn to a crow feather on the road
Until I was far from home.
I found a crow feather on the road
Like a murder of crows born of nothingness.
I picked up a crow feather
And turned into my shadow.
I carried the crow feather home
And my awareness was lifted.
I brought the feather home
And the power went out.
I placed it over my hawk feather
And night covered day.
My totem grew to include owl and raven.
Now my shadow has wings,
No one takes this journey but me.

In a Gallery of Birds

                             The mind is brushed by sparrow wings.
                                                           Hart Crane

All shadows of a kind                           cross the atlas of the mind.
Alone or with fledglings                            in realistic settings
The ghosts of those birds                             migrated into words.
The longer we stayed                                     the sound of a glade.
Windows doubled as skies                                for eternity in their eyes.
Even for a feather                                             it is a heavy tether.
In each nest                                                     eggs at rest.
Such stillness grows                                        like flight in repose
Mounted there                                                        in flying air.
What is seeming                                                 if nature is dreaming?
What is death                                                    to a hummingbird’s breath?
In an eagle’s gaze                                         soar endless days.
A glass case sings                                      it breaks with wings.
All field marks fade                                    light goes into shade.