Monday, May 4, 2009

Hurt Hawks by Robinson Jeffers

The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder.

The wing trails like a banner in defeat,

No more to use the sky forever, but live with famine

And pain a few more days; neither cat nor coyote

Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.

He stands under the oak-bush and waits

The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom

And flies in a dream, the dawn ruins it.

He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse

The curs of the day come and torment him

At distance, no one but death the redeemer, will humble that head,

The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.

The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those

That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.

You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;

Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;

Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying remember him.

I'd sooner accept the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;

but the great Red-tail had nothing left but misery

From the bone too shattered for mending;

The wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.

We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom

He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death

Not like a beggar, but still eyed with the old implacable arrogance.

I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.

What fell was relaxed, owl-downy, soft feminine feathers;

but what soared; the fierce rush; the night herons by the flooded river cried fear at it's rising

Before it was quite unsheathed from reality...


At May 4, 2009 at 5:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So moving! thanks for posting this, even though it's hard to take in....

At May 4, 2009 at 5:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Monteen,
Beautiful poem! i feel enlited with art this afternoon.

Tomato question- where do you get calcium and potassium for the plants? I'm trying in-containers for the first time for all the reasons you grow them in pots as well. Except add deer and rabbit to mine.


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