Daphne Major, Galapagos


“These birds are the most singular of any in the Galapagos.”

                                                                   Charles Darwin.


Volcanic up swell,

tick mark,

tiny dot in the middle

of a blue map.


Stationary ship,

belly of the earth

like a backstroke swimmer

in a blue-black sea,


where erratic rains run away

while a Cactus Finch (Scandens) has gone

black to mate, so black that shadows cast


blushes back.  So black,

more silhouette

than a black beaked bird



on your barred black belly,

this fine breath’d bird, this


penumbra of feathers and flight;

demonstrating divergence and drift,

so proud he sings aloud


the song of the Ground Finch (Fortis)

O befuddled bird

bereft an opera coach,


sans score  of Scandens,  the bird song

bindery gone  bankrupt,  loose leaf

scores littered, learning a  neighbor’s

second hand sheet music.


Amid the volcanic dreams

of Finches, and bird shaped voids, 

singing atop cacti, amid these small

dark commas  set against  a bluer

than blue sky,  he sings the wrong song


but its been a good year  and she comes,

the star crossed lover, Lady Fortis.


And before the rains return, and they will return,

                  a small clutch of stars.


And when the rains return, they will return

                     with long lost letters from London.


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