Posts Tagged ‘geese’

Birds on the Ouse River, York


Coots, Seagulls, Geese


“All the Birds on Christmas Day” by Jane Beal

I didn’t know the birds were weeping.
They might have been singing praise!

The black phoebe, the hummingbird,
the distant geese I heard –

I thought they were a choir
for the most extraordinary birthday

the world has ever known.
But maybe the Great White Egret

standing on the side of the freeway,
not wading in the wetland waters

should have been my clue
that there is no joy on earth

not mingled
with lingering grief.


Davis & HWY 37


LISTEN: “Haunting” (Great White Egret)

Two Days before Christmas

I went outside early in the morning
while it was still dark.
I heard the geese calling overhead,
and I looked up.

I could see their white under-bellies
glimmering in jagged lines
as they flew between distant stars.

Where are you going?
Where have you have been?

I remember a lake in the high, wild country
east of the Rocky Mountains, near Denver,
and how so many of you settled there
with ducks and grebes and egrets,

with the memory of swans and a Great Blue Heron,
with strange flickers sailing across
green park lawns from tree to tree.

Where are you going?
Where have you have been?

Did you come to my eyes from Colorado,
from mountain peaks and snow
that evaporates in sudden sunlight?
Did you come to me from a story?

I remember swans-like-geese
in an African folktale. I remember a lover
who cared to learn his beloved’s mother tongue.

Where are you going?
Where have you have been?

Speak my language, teach me your song,
let me understand the words declared in mid-air,
between heaven and earth,
where stars shine brightly in the cold.

I have been listening all this time.
The hourglass is turned upside down in my heart,
and the salt is in your wings.



from Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star

by Peter Horácek

Perrin’s “Winged Migration”



This afternoon, I’ve been watching Jacques Perrin’s “Winged Migration.” I love the close-ups of birds in flight. The music is beautiful.

The film, without commentary, shows a few, scattered glimpses of moments when human beings interfere with the life of birds: a tractor plowing up a grassy field in which a bird’s nest is hidden, a European factory where geese land and one is trapped in a puddle of oil and cannot fly away with its mates, a hunter shooting several birds and his dog running out to retrieve them. These moments are painful to watch.

But there is also a moment when a weary migratory bird lands on a ship at sea to rest before continuing north. At that moment, it feels as if humans can help more than they harm–something I have seen often in the midwest where many people are care-takers of birds all winter long.

Winged Migration Trailer





Yesterday was a beautiful day in Colorado. The sun was shining! Lake Kuentze in Belmar Park has not yet melted completely, but the geese were perfectly happy to sit on the ice, all facing east toward the sun, and sun-bathe to their hearts’ content!