Holding up the Sky

They fill the earth with seeds and song,
their bones and wings need to be strong
to bear the responsibility
of holding up the sky.

They flock above the farmer’s plough,
they watch us as we plant and sow,
from their aspect up on high
while they are holding up the sky.

The smallest hummingbirds and wrens
make us smile, and friendly robins,
while blackbirds’ trilling makes us sigh,
while they are holding up the sky.

Forests and woods are alive with song,
a morning crescendo from a throng,
a feathery flock flying high,
still they are holding up the sky.

The largest bird, the albatross, spends
six years flying over sea, it rarely lands;
it glides on winds and sometimes dives,
determined to hold up the sky.

Eagles and other birds of prey
may not be seen from day to day,
but they see clearly when they spy
a meal, while holding up the sky.

The archaeopteryx, first to soar,
was a descendant of the dinosaur,
fierce mother of the birds on high
who continue to hold up the sky.

We cannot calculate how long
we will benefit from wing and song.
We must protect the earth and sky
and the creatures that live up on high.

Kim M. Russell, 10th May 2012

Image by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

My response to earthweal weekly challenge: Fierce Love

Sherry is our host this Monday. She tells us that she has been in love with Mother Earth all her life and sought out wild places. She tells us about her fierce love for Tofino, the place where she lives, and the earth grief she has felt as she watched the Old Growth forests disappear, whales, bears and wolves starving for lack of salmon, and wild salmon disappearing because of pollution and disease.

Sherry says that Mother Earth is all about abundance, life, growth, healing and repair, earth’s systems working together, and gives the example of how salmon help forests to grow. She makes a powerful point: humans were meant to live on earth as in an abundant garden, where every gardener knows that when you take out, you put back.

Our challenge is to think of what we love most (the beloved, a child, a fur companion) and then take that fierce love and write about something in the natural world that we feel fiercely passionate about.

20 thoughts on “Holding up the Sky

  1. So beautiful! I love all the birds, holding up the sky. I didnt know the albatross rarely lands. Wow. Love your closing stanza. Wonderful, Kim!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. I’m not long up myself. The sun in shining, the honeysuckle is blooming outside my window and there is birdsong. As long as they are there, things are not so bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A Herculean (OK, Atlas-ean) task, what those birds do for all creation. It bear repeating every time we consider the alternative. A fine paean to the aviary, from hummingbird to archaeopteryx. (Love the birds-whale!) – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

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