On The Flight of Starlings
A murmuration of starlings,
now eastward bound,
clip like little ships
through the frail and distant clouds.
From my window, they are silent,
A moody black shape
that forms and disintegrates
like ash on the winter wind.
Though their litany is mute to me,
I know that in their midst
a thousand little voices or more
swept up in countless conversations:
“where are we going hey whats your name
are we still planning on going that way?”
And each one navigates not only the wind,
but their place in the crowd,
feathers attuned to subtle shifts in the breeze
caused by the passing
of each member of their flock.
They must feel the sky
like a bed of nails rolling beneath them,
a million pins indicating
which tiny twitch of the wing is needed
which little tip of the head will prevent
and aerial collision, a misnegotiation
that could bring the whole shape down.
They must share some biological radio,
some instinctive group soul,
whose frequency will always be
a mystery to me.
And from my distant perch
I can see no reason or purpose
to their erratic flight plan,
and they can see no purpose in mine.