Stages 

I: Childhood
In evening's lilac haze, With the day fading Like a blue kite shunted Down westerly streets Towards shapeless night, The child turns from sleep To hear the southing geese Stab the darkness with cries, Awakening the need to be identified.

II: Youth
Morning sunlight pours heat Like a tantric blanket Across an open field Where sparrows Serenading juniper bushes Sing alone. O, half-requited lovers. But not really, For the juniper beckons In brazen red, While the troubadour sparrows Trill ballads of wanton needs, And with quick precision Turn lulls in their lyrics Into conquests anyway.

III: Novelty
When it's carnival time The penguin hotfoots back to Antarctica Where the existential summer night Pitches a cross white gale Through the huddled rookery, And a fierce fugue of penguin braying Seethes across the ice. But the storm-drenched birds Only tilt in the winds Like elbowless clowns with sandbag feet, While the egg of the unborn Nestled safely on its foot Rests half an inch from the ice.

IV: Vigor
Barely beneath a sanguine sun The peregrine streaks A black flash on the horizon, All the time plotting Over the blueprint below To shudder to a stop Between stalks of rocking wheat, And in its stiff fist Take life furiously to the sky. But before its strike The ears of the rabbit blister in heed, Sorting aerial threat From tossing wheat.

V: Motherhood
In prostrate grass never mown Bedding crooked highways overgrown The bobwhite breeds, Found only by chance... By gestating woman Who steps from her car Into sibilant sedges For reasons bizarre As hormonal cravings And an intimate sense Of the quickening of seasons. But compelled to her knees In the haymarsh land She parts the grasses With an instinctive hand To discover the clutch Of her own child within.

VI: Wisdom
Under the lamp-lit sky Of but an oily moon The spirit owl's nocturnal eye Peers between his worlds Where the toothy rustle Of a seed-nibbling mouse Fixes his attention, While behind his other closed eye Grainy night revolves its steady Planetarium dome Sparkling with creation. Between the owl's two gazes The night glints full of prey.

VII: Death
Looking sideways at the waves, The shore birds run on their reflections. Behind them the sea gathers To crash ashore minnowed hulls And wear them repeatedly away. In the middle of a flock Of twelve darting plovers Is a single bird with both legs still, Pale as a winter sanderling, Its cocked eye certain of Where all the rest are hurrying.

VIII: Generations
Through a seam in heaven The light from distant years Pours in, skitters across A manless lake transfixed and shimmering In wafers of silver. Upon the undiscovered waters Echos deliriously in every crest and fall The clarinetted falsetto wail Of the loon crossing millenia.
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