“(Swifts) feed in the air, they mate in the air, they get nest material in the air. They can land on nest boxes, branches, or houses, but they can’t really land on the ground.”— Researcher Susanne Åkesson


I’ve been airborne since
Augustus set the footings of the Roman Peace
—in that alone I flew two hundred years
without alighting once. My forebear’s bodies
so studied the inclinations of drafts
they bequeathed me wings and means
to defy grounded predators (their craft
is stealth and might while mine is
lift and flight)

Angels I’ve known were met
in conclaves of clouds real as the dust
of parched whirlwinds but sweet and wet

            …….….Free in vapor we’ve bet
that a universe of soil and stone
may last but that of blood and bone,
ligaments, limbs and breath
will be snapped as short
as the short straw in the short-sighted
lottery of man alone

Jim Culleny