The Sand Swallows Of Bootjack Hill

They do not, like their more esteemed Californian cousins,

Sweep into town over sloop-festooned, canvas-checkered waters,

Passing over remnants of missions packed with the ghosts

Of Christian guilt and romantic swashbucklers;

They labor in their workaday manner just over the treetops,

Still budding in the newness of May,

Pausing to rest on the jagged orange chain-link surrounding the dormant mills

Or on a sill fronting a boarded window at the old school

Before taking to their summer quarters at the abandoned quarry

Just off the Old Klondike Road, and invariably one of the old-times will say

Lil’ birds hain’t much to look at, but at least they come back every year,

And then they will not give the simple brown-backed birds another thought,

As they find no particular interest in the notion of flight.


7 thoughts on “The Sand Swallows Of Bootjack Hill

  1. I love how in defining Bootjack Hill’s sand swallows, you also characterize (by comparison) their California cousins and the local townsfolk (by their attitude to the swallows’ appearance and continued stay). And all this in… hmm, a 13-line poem? – every word counting. Masterful.

  2. this is one of my favorites of yours. .. which is difficult to say, as each one of yours is a favorite of mine in a different way… but this. these bootjack hill birds, the old timers (they sit before me now, the creaking in their bones and the loop-track of their conversation), the abandoned buildings, (the way the wind blows through them on chill mornings in early spring) … and calling us, there at the end to consider the notion of flight… these homely little brown-backed birds lead me to prufrock country. where the world doesn’t end with a bang, but with the comments of old men, and the sound of insignificant swallows taking wing.

  3. This one is a little bit of genius really, putting a human feeling face and values on one of mother natures other perfect creations to add a voice and make it totally identifiable. Loved this alot….great writing and very cool thought process.

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