Project Passenger Pigeon

Lessons from the Past for a Sustainable Future

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Flights of Fancy

A Poem by David Staley

One and Then Another

One and then another
and then another just the same
The dark and living clouds descend
with the thunder of a billion wings

A mighty mass of movement
The thick and musty stench
An unheard of sound surrounding
the breaking of the branch

“Here they come!” - the cry is heard
Then movement on the ground
A deadly storm is coming quick
with greed and violent sounds

With pole or net or gun
the targets are the same
Though a million are left for dead
the loss is seen as gain

Then away the clouds arise
A billion to their fate
Dashed to the ground from different skies
to pillow, plate, or crate

The living clouds descend
Each one marked with a numbered wing
Billions are millions are thousands
and then - one is left to sing

David Staley is an educator from Akron, Ohio who has been fascinated and moved by the Passenger Pigeon for decades. He started and moderates an online group that discusses extinct birds that he started back in 2000 with the hope of creating a forum for dialogue about the Passenger Pigeon and other extinct birds and species.

(Return to Flights of Fancy entry page)