Poetry

PELICAN RISING

Freedom bequeathed from antiquity

     lifts him on a salty current

          a Pleistocene phoenix

 like a minor revelation rising

     from the cordgrass, rising

          through oleander.

 His mud-and-salt-pan plumes

     are vibrant in their motion

          against sepia stillness;

 red-rimmed eyes scan his course

     consider the offerings.

          But his needs

 cannot be met here: Asphalt, steel,

     rubber, glass and brick –

          foreign parts

 of a border world outside his own.

     Expert air-surfer, on one

         finger he turns

 traces the invisible crest, dips

     into a lower trough

          glides the draft

 streaming above opaque rivers

     that thread the dusty marshes

          of his home.