Mohammed Abdul Latif

The Migratory Bird

The Zephyr came swooping down upon her wings,
through the desert, the solitary little bird flew.
Her eyes wore a glint of the deep oceans,
Her feathers were a splendid forest green, river blue.

Fluttering her strong wings into full flight,
not a grain from a barn, not a twig for the nest.
And she left the abode of clouds for the wind's castle,
with no waterhole in tow, not even a bough to rest.

Ships sailed the seas with their masts hoisted,
The beacon's flare shone, the lighthouse glared bright,
Her strong wings rose high above a pinnacle's reach,
through the day, her journey slept by the night.

Vast and stark, landscapes frozen in ice and time,
Fecund and green, landscapes all tilled and plowed,
She crossed a river that lay in an infant's grave,
born of the wedlock of the earth and the cloud.

She saw cattle grazing on ranches, fenced in barb wire,
She saw men plying their boats, upstream and swift.
She saw children having a joyride, laughing and giggling,
She saw Winter hugging Spring, with a flower's gift.

She saw the shadows of clouds upon high mountains,
Her wings, steady and poised by the Lord's grace,
The chimneys, the spires, the minarets and the colossus,
were not going to be her solace, not her embrace.

The dunes and its fangs reached out to her,
sneaked under her wings, the ocean mist and dew,
Her vision not weary of the never-reached horizon,
And to the destined land, she unmistakenly flew.

And plunged she, her bill for a draught of water,
and found her friends chirping there, sweet and merry.
Miles away, found she a home away from her home,
and her bill, the same sweet taste of cherry.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Poem Edited: Thursday, January 6, 2011

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