The Hunger


From his guard
he spies me and
startles to flight,
bursting skyward.
I feel his
as warm wind
fuels him aloft,
sunlight winking
in his wings.

Piercing the sky,
his decree
(a phantom omen
writ in windsong)
declares dominion.
In concentric circles
he rules. From
spiraling throne
his empire expands
beneath him.

He pursues his prey
and I mine,
hunters, we:
I, the poacher,
my camera,
lifting effigies
from the land;
he, the falcon,
fresh death
in his grasp.

We fly
into the sun,
devouring daylight,
in separate survivals,
allied only
in solitude,
pursuing sacred
among profane –
he, regal;
I, recalcitrant,
insatiate we,
rapt and raptor.



The red-tailed hawk is one of the most common raptors in the U.S. More than once I have spied one of these majestic creatures bursting skyward with a rodent’s tail lashing from its claws. On my runs around the countryside, I often startle them from their posts. I doubt this is from fright, they seem far more recalcitrant and regal to care, I often feel their brusk condescension as they simply soar toward another outpost. Disturbing their quiet kingdom, I feel somewhat an invader but I sense similarities as well, as though we both pursue to pacify an insatiable hunger, me with my camera, seeking beauty amid barrenness and this rusty-tailed hawk seeking sustenance. We both cling to our solitude. We both desire nourishment. And who is to say mine is merely figurative?

(All photos taken with my Olympus E-PL5 and Olympus M. Zuiko 45 mm lens).

Why I Write Poetry: Full Disclosure (A Poet’s Regret)