top of page

Magnificent Frigatebird

Ebony grace, silent, against open sky

six foot span of wings, echo of fossiled flyers

lazy lengths of double tail quills adding a touch of drag

keeps this black beauty soaring for weeks, 40 continuous miles

without flap of wing or touch to earth

riding cloud updrafts to get here.


Watching, alone, even when flying with others,

she owns the thin upper altitude of Zeus’ breath

where no other winged fool will dare to soar

except the illusive, fearless phoenix in her flames.


I cannot look away when she glides into view

motionless, riding circles of air and earth’s aroma

she is attracted on occasion to touch down, almost,

but stays aloft, scans but does not land.


She holds me with her quiet elegance

silent symphony of wing

she rides air and earth and sea in a

symmetry of stillness in movement.


A harsh singularity of survival stealing others’ food

yet she is a silent ebony blessing, forgiven for her theft

remembered for her distinctive tail, not of decorative

plumes on hats, but obsidian quills of direction and assent.


Oh, magnificent dark frigate, I wish to go with you

if only into harmony of waking dreams, silent visions,

teach me to ride on what is given and how to defer

into currents undreamed that will escort me home again.


I sit in closed mouth wonder at her ageless wisdom

delivered by blessing of wing and voiceless flight

watch her circle out of view know it may be weeks months

before another circling cycle of life will bring her back.

I have known as well as seen her in the soft blue morning

and I will remember her effortless flight across my day.

Sharon Mooney, “Magnificent Frigatebird”, From Secrets & Myrrors, a poetry anthology, ed.etal, Mortimer Roxbrough, London, England, Jume, 2020

bottom of page