I wanted to share this poem by Christina M. Ward. When I recently saw this Red-necked Phalarope her words resonated with me all the more. Her poem talks about the detrimental impact we humans have on birds, while at the same time having the power to reverse what's happening. If only more would listen..

A World Without Birds

I do not want to stand
under quiet skies.

I want them filled with bird song,
the intertwining symphony
of life breathing life
singing life

I do not want silent trees
or Silent Springs
without the buzzing
of hummingbirds
or the whisper-flight of wrens.

The grass has held worm
for robins, warm-breasted
and numerous —as far
into my memory as I can search.
Where are the robins now?
I haven’t seen one in so long.

The Aves are in decline.

I do not want to live
in a world without birds.
Without the intricacies of color
the dapper dancing for mates
the delicate strength of wings
teaching us to soar above things,
to be light as the wind
and quick on our feet.

How can I soar on wings like eagles, Lord
if there are none to inspire
my soul to lift?

Who will announce the gift of sun
after rain? Who will skip on delicate
feet along the shoreline, or lift
their notes on wind and wing?

Who will bring morning?

Coming too soon —
artist renderings,
a cross-stitched Avocet
on white linen, framed,
picture books and stories
telling of days when the skies
were ablaze with a flurry
of swift flying creatures
— this is what we give
to the generations?
Tales of them?

Empty skies
and our
remorseful eyes?

I cannot live
in a world without birds.

— forgive us our trespasses

Poem written by Christina M. Ward

Red-necked Phalarope in Delta - Photo: Melissa Hafting


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