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POETRYETC  August 2014

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Subject:

Re: A long snap

From:

Patrick McManus <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc: poetry and poetics

Date:

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:17:00 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (195 lines)

So many species now extinct :-(

-----Original Message-----
From: Poetryetc: poetry and poetics [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Millicent Borges Accardi
Sent: 23 August 2014 22:54
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: A long snap


100 Years After Her Death
 
Extinction is not always 
The light of noon-day.
 
A horizon filled once
Inside a plastic form.
 
Again a mourning dove,
And a breast colored
With air.
 
Martha finds herself 
long into the next day.
 
Feathered and mounted
Like the heath hen.
 
�and then the next,
As if by an eclipse, she
is at the center of things.
 
Because behavior adores
boys and men
Who like to shoot.
 
Human enemies
They were, by 1890, 
Passenger pigeons
had become less
than a handful.
 
Martha born in captivity,
Amid a cause or a brief
Dampened moment
Against a dove.
 
Once part of a great flock
Now, with dead
feathers of her own.
 
Shuddering over
Canada billions
Once flew. from one edge
Of sky to the other.
 
From trees, their
Glistening copper
Breasts and wings.
 
Gone from billions
These handsome birds,
Half her body reservoir,
two thirds her mate.
 
Their wings sweeping
Over as if there never
Was a son of God.
 
The flight imprinting
how we would, in 1860,
in 1900, in 2014,
 
soon treat pigeons
as a faraway past.
 
In her final days, 
Martha, her keepers
roping off the cage
to stop visitors
from throwing sand
to get her to move.
 
Lady, learn to be.
like the great auk, remember
Martha is all there is
And Martha lived alone.
 
She resonates
With the word, move.
 
In the early afternoon
Of September 1, 1914,
She died.
 
Never having lived
in the wild,
Not able to survive
not so different from that
immense flock of a heart
beat of down, born
 
into extinction, 
nursed by genetics
and luck,
 
Her sides of gray-blue
Black, once more
than 3.7 billion
populated North America.
 
Her body, now one
Of the downcast, the last
of her species. 
 
Our partial actions
Crowded together
Like trees born out of trees.
 
She was packed in ice
and shipped 
to the Smithsonian.
 
Perhaps a new Martha
might lead a life,
Pigeons roosting in nests
re-engineered, from a mix
of objects to make her
flight whole.
 
She didn�t exist
She lived right here,
shot, netted and burned
like sky to other sky.
 
Something happened
that is good like the end
of the Carolina parakeet
or the clearing of an Eastern
forest.
 
Martha, the elusive
female, duller after her,
The flight continued.
 
The males without touch
stood in line
 
To greet the next passenger,
Half the size a mourning
Dove. The very last 
of her kind.
The very last Martha.
 
Her wings trembling,
The world�s final passenger,
through the night 
of avian obscurity.
 
To hunt and kill for sport.
In nature, she is not a lost
Cause.
 
Under glass on a plate
She remains undiminished.
A Martha without
George.
 
The very banks of her
Flight obscured.
 
Nests of passenger pigeons
Were known to break tree
Limbs.
 
When they were still flying,
when she was skinned,
when men and boys shot
pigeons for sport.




http://www.MillicentBorgesAccardi.com
Like my Facebook Page
@TopangaHippie  on Twitter
�gua mole em pedra dura tanto d� at� que fura







 

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