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Wind Turbines of Altamont Pass

Standing upright on barren hills
facing both sides of the freeway
catching the smog
spewing from automobiles
catching the wind in wild blades of steel
killing kestrels and red tailed hawks
generating energy for power grids
lighting the streetlights of grimy alley ways
lighting the traffic light that turns red.
You stop breathless at these colossi
the loneliness of gray metal against blue sky
and ask what part of you
feels like this–
what part of your loneliness
churns thoughts inside your head,
kills the flight of your imagination
but lights the dark alley ways of your doubts?
What part of you
has hardened to your own spirit
longing to find the nearby delta
where egrets wade and rivers converge?
What part of you stands on barren hills
thrashing your arms toward the universe
hoping that all this thrashing
does some good in the world?

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The problem was the owl’s eyes were so perfect, so black, so lustrous, so elliptical that I wanted to be lost in them forever, to enter into a bird’s eye view of the world, to see in the dark, be the
dark, be inside out blackness.

The problem was the owl’s feathers were so gray, so gunmetal gray, so coat of squirrel gray, so blue gray that I wanted neither day or night, to be in sheer limbo of it all, mute and silent.

The problem was the owl’s head swiveled from left to right like it had no vertebrate, like its head could twist off, like watching a skater whip around in circles that I wanted all my thoughts to dissolve.

The problem was the owl’s mottling was so white, so virginal, like the soft down of a swan, like a lamb lived in its feathers that I wanted to drift into deep sleep.

The problem was the Spotted Owl was so beautiful that I no longer wanted to be human, that I wanted to dwell in the wellspring of those eyes, that I wanted to take flight in the cool night air with fringed wings, to be silent and soft feathered, to fall from a great height at will sensing the barely visible.