Pelican diving into the ocean with gull in the background

“In a dive” by Coveredinsevindust.
Released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.


by Robinson Jeffers, 1925-26

Four pelicans went over the house,
Sculled their worn oars over the courtyard: I saw that ungainliness
Magnifies the idea of strength.
A lifting gale of sea-gulls followed them; slim yachts of the element,
Natural growths of the sky, no wonder
Light wings to leave the sea; but those grave weights toil, and are powerful,
And the wings torn with old storms remember
The cone that the oldest redwood dropped from, the tilting of continents,
The dinosaur’s day, the lift of new sea-lines.
The omnisecular spirit keeps the old with the new also.
Nothing at all has suffered erasure.
There is life not of our time. He calls ungainly bodies
As beautiful as the grace of horses.
He is weary of nothing; he watches air-planes; he watches pelicans.



Male Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)

April 9th, evening. I drive to downtown Menlo Park,  Applewood Pizza, to pick up dinner. It is my last night in Menlo Park. I’m returning to my car with the pizza and, just before opening the door to my mother’s car, I see the sillouette of a small bird on a short post, about three feet from me. The bird doesn’t fly off, and after a second or two I make out his profile and the darker patches on either side of his breast. He is softly twittering and fluffing his feathers, looking at me. I realize he is a male Western Bluebird. He utters a small clear whistle, and I respond in kind. He fluffs and twitters, whistles again, completely unafraid of me. I continue to talk softly to him, as I often do to birds.

Finally, this fellow sees that he has things to do before settling in for the night and darts off. I open the car door, pack in my pizza, and head for my last night at mother’s house. I feel a lightness, as though I have just been given the secrets of the Universe.

Photo by Kevin Cole.