Spitting Feathers

Between shingle beach
and salty lagoon,
marsh and reed bed,
feathered spirits,
soul-anchored
by ponderous words,
observe migrating birds
and hanker
to be free.

They long to sweep
above thorny thistles,
dart after insects in the air,
glittering lightning
across fields
and down lanes,
breaking over towns
and villages
like waves.

Petrochemicals
of centuries
clog their quills:
they are time-tattered,
myth-spattered,
tarred and feathered
with futility,
earth-tethered
gaseous ghosts.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

spitting-feathers

– Can Pekdemir

My response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #154 and linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform, also linked to earthweal open link weekend on Saturday 27th February 2021. 

40 thoughts on “Spitting Feathers

  1. The elements of living close to nature and having a full appreciation of each detail always produces a poem which combines emotion with description.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That image is heartbreaking, and your words capture the plight so well. I especially love the description of the marsh and its feathered beings longing to fly. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You capture the plight of birds in an oil spill with such pathos here. There is so much pain and suffering on the planet right now. Your description of the marsh and unspoiled nature is uplifting. It reads like a prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The horror of the damage wouldn’t be so gutteral if there hadn’t been first such love a place: This is crafted just right, with the intimacies of the first part hammered by the ignobilities of the second. There is so much tragic waste to witness in our mastery. Bright wings dredged in oil. Well done – B

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ‘Petrochemicals
    of centuries
    clog their quills:’
    A tragic tale you tell here Kim, but tell it you must, and hope that in time the human race will listen. I say ‘in time’ but I do wonder how much time we have…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jim. We don’t get too many birds covered in nasty substances on our beaches now, it used to be much worse. But when we do, it is desperately sad and infuriating.

      Liked by 1 person

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