Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More
I want to search within the following: This Department
Seattle City Council Council Home About Us Contact Us
Council Calendar News & Updates Committees & Agendas Current Issues Council Live Research City Laws
Councilmember Nick Licata
Phone: 206-684-8803
Fax: 206-684-8587
Blog RSS Feed Facebook Twitter Flickr

Licata Home
Nick's Legislation
Urban Politics Blog
Urban Politics Archive 1996-2014
Nick's Calendar

In the News
Nick's Links
News Releases
Image Gallery
Nick's Videos Seattle Channel Webcast

Words' Worth Poetry
Film Forum
Art Walks
Space for Artists
Seattle Composer
Poet Populist
Critical Crossings

City Logo

"Words' Worth" Poetry Readings

Poets at the Culture, Arts, and Parks Committee of the Seattle City Council.

Ornithology Lesson by Jan Wallace

It's an act of desperation,
the rare mating ritual
of bald eagle pair.

They come together mid-air between
mountains, you can barely make
them out, you with your Audobon

binoculars, you in your birding
hat. The two of them bound beak
and feather, claw and wing,

having taken leave of every other
instinct; like survival, like hunger,
when they caught that scent floating

in thin air. Mostly what they
have forgotten is how to breathe, how
to fly. They drop their wings,

admit to the full weight of themselves
washed clean of the serendipitous
magic of everyday bald eagle flight

by the thick true wash of lust--
which brings every creature right down
out of the wild kingdom into the one

common, humble denominator. Aren't you glad,
Bird watchers, you're not a part
of that? Those eagles risk it all

for the free fall down the long swallow
of sex, speeding down the chimney of air
plummeting blindly toward earth, unaware

entranced, careening toward your keen
eyes riveted on the speeding bundle,
and just when you know this must

be a suicide pact, no birdheart promise,
but the real thing among a sacred breed,
just before they hit the earth and scatter

like burst pillows--they disengage slow
motion in a stunning, artful gesture.
And there you are, binoculars around

your ankles, as the eagles pick up
the next breeze, feathering, feathering and soar.

This page was last updated: January 8, 2000
  For technical assistance click here to contact our web team
Seattle City Hall Council Home | Contact Us | Calendar | News & Updates | Committees & Agenda | Current Issues | Research City Laws
Seattle City Hall

Seattle City Hall
600 Fourth Ave. 2nd Floor
Seattle, WA 98104
Visiting City Hall

Access to City Hall for Individuals with Disabilities

Mailing Address:
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Phone: 206-684-8888
Fax: 206-684-8587
TTY/TDD: 206-233-0025
Listen Line: 206-684-8566

Non -English Language Information