Birds of Prey, And Us Non-Birds

Last night at our little local library, a high school student told his story of visiting a falconer. The falcons, he said, have one primal force: to eat. He described feathered creatures who will sit for hours, waiting for a mouse to appear – almost sure prey at a hole – rather than using calories to fly randomly and seek the unknown.

The world of training these regal birds, the teenager relayed, centers on one primary object: a morsel of London broil on a leather gauntlet. That is so not the human way. Perhaps in hunter-gatherer days, single-minded patience and determination dictated human action, but it’s nearly impossible for me to imagine when the human terrain of desire – for food beyond sustenance, sweet, salty, and spicy; for silk and myriad dyed colors for fashion; for adulation on a small and great scale; for the comfort of coupling in bed, complicated or not – hasn’t constantly jumbled up civilization.

Aggravating, infuriating at times, this world I inhabit, and yet this morning, waking in the dark with a child murmuring in her sleep near me, what a wondrous world, too. Not far from my desk, a mouse scurries in and out of its tiny hole, busy with its own rodent variation of London broil. More generous this rainy morning, I think, Go about, little one.

Autumn Haiku

Even from my front porch
the rusted sewing machine
yearns for golden thread.

– Warren Falcon

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Woodbury, Vermont