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