Varieties Of Flight

There, in the air--traceless blue--arena of circuits
And saunters, some rise with difficulty

'While others lift buoyant, tack of tail turned
Westward--take wide air under their keel,

And sprint, shoot and sail up to where, in invisible
Gyres they revolve tropical or northern,

Spreading their full breadth to survey the scene,
Their prey hidden in land folded and patched;

Others, tail-sure tuck and dive, fall in a single tear,
Against a stony silhouette of hill; others

In wind jibe and yaw, storm-wise, head into
Air as prows take the jab and flack of waves--

But some are threaded by thin parachute, line of silk,
They soar only when bidden, cross a width

Of draft, but hang when the wind is becalmed
And suspended; still others come from deeper

Hues--leap into air as if seeking a higher realm,
Where hidden stars crown a miraculous

Dome of blue--fly on their fins, and their short
Leap is the curve of Noah's colored arc:

Still for others, flight is trammeled--rooted, as fires lift
Only in sparks, but are held fast to their

Flames; and sound flies blindly over distance,
But cannot renew the force of its thrust;

Sight sweeps and tempers rise; tall grasses bend and
Rumors mount; winds wind over, as insects

Hover, and stars speed free under frail failing
Night, while fleet tongues tell their tales--

And Knowledge--poor earth-bound ember--sails,
But fails to ignite.

by Ellen Hinsey

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