In Praise of Avian Companions
TO CATCH THOUGHT UPON THE WING
CATCH POSTCARDS DROPPED IN FLIGHT.
AND ATTEND THE FEATHERED MESSENGERS.
EVEN PLATO KNEW THE SOUL AS RAMPANT AVIARY.
HE IMAGINES HE’LL FLOAT UPWARD AT HIS DEATH LIKE A
WILD SWAN ELUDING ALL WHO WISH TO CORNER HIM
IN ANY CAGE OF PROOF OR FINISHED PORTRAIT.
ONLY THOSE WHO RISE TO SOAR
WITHIN HIS ELEMENT ENJOY HIS COMPANY.
Ed Mooney tilts his ear to catch these avian intimations intercepted in Boston, Venice, Berkeley, or other sites of utter surprise. A skim of these meditations appeared in Terra Nova, the journal of deep ecology, and were acknowledged in The Best American Essays, 1998.
“Charming, enigmatic, often humorous, these half-poetic, half-philosophic vignettes condense a lifetime to its essential images. They sent me searching for my own.”
—Steve Webb, Seattle writer and Emerson scholar, author of A Notebook on The Inward Morning
“Those who love water, evening flyers, and early fog will love these poetic nests meant to lure the roaming philosophic mind.”
—Will Johnson, scholar of Indigenous Religions & Buddhism, Cal State San Diego, author of Riding the Ox Home