While visiting Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, I headed to the end of the road, and walked towards the red barn of the Allee House. I was really hoping to find hummingbirds in the back, but instead found a pair of black beady eyes watching me.
This juvenile Black vulture sat inquisitively in the abandoned window calmly watching me. Speaking quietly to her, we shared a few moments together, while the rest of the world seemed to fade away.
Vulture by Robinson Jeffers
I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside
Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling
high up in heaven,
And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit
I understood then
That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-
Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.
I could see the naked red head between the great wings
Bear downward staring. I said, “My dear bird, we are wasting time
These old bones will still work; they are not for you.” But how
he looked, gliding down
On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the
over the precipice. I tell you solemnly
That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak
become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes–
What a sublime end of one’s body, what and enskyment; what a life
Now there’s the real survivor, eats anything and does whatever it takes to stay alive 🙂
But yet, as harsh as that may sound, they are the great cleaners of our earth. They leave nothing and do it in an elegant way.
True that 🙂
I couldn’t tell you why but I just love me a vulture – maybe I watched too many Warner Brother cartoons as a child but I think they are kinda cool! 🙂
You would have loved this one then Joanne, she was so sweet and inquisitive.
Vulture? Unexpected somehow – great poem, thanks for posting.
🙂 Gotta smile on that comment. Like to keep you guessing. This was such a cool experience, I was able to get quite close to her.
Love your soul that shines through this post. Really beautiful. 💛
You truly know me don’t you Laura? This vulture, seemed so sweet and yet she has such a bad reputation. 🙂
Love those vultures. They are so underrated.
There is a culture in the Himalayas where the deceased is fed to the vultures rather than buried or burned (cannot dig, no wood). It is how I would like to be returned to the earth. So wish I could…
This is an amazing thing Shannon. I had no idea that this happened in a culture, and this poem speaks to that ritual. Indeed not a bad way to be reincarnated. Thank you for sharing.
I find vultures are the unsung heroes of the bird world and yet, they do such a wonderful job getting rid of carrion. Nice shot. 😉
I agree Fatima, we need those vultures to keep things clean. Thank you for your kindness.