Friday Poem

Vulture

I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside

Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling

…..high up in heaven,

And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit

…..narrowing,

…..I understood then

That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-

…..feathers

Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.

I could see the naked red head between the great wings

Bear downward staring. I said, “My dear bird, we are wasting time

…..here.

These old bones will still work; they are not for you.” But how

…..beautiful

…..he looked, gliding down

On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the

…..sea-light

…..over the precipice. I tell you solemnly

That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak

…..and

…..become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes–

What a sublime end of one's body, what and enskyment; what a life

…..after death.

by Robinson Jeffers

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