Read Poem: EARTH LINKS: FLIGHT RISK by Gary Beck

The birds of Bryant Park
do not live in cages,
though almost as confined
in midtown Manhattan,
since they don’t migrate
thanks to climate change,
deforestation,
excess concrete
smothering habitat.

They subsist on crumbs,
lunchtime leftovers
from local workers,
as there’s no regular
avian food supply
in this well-funded park,
that forbids feeding birds
because enterprising rats
claim their share of food.

The birds of Bryant Park
have a strange life cycle,
completely unnatural
despite genetic urge
ro reproduce in Spring
when food is abundant,
left by park visitors.

The sparrows and pigeons
dominate the food chain.
Sparrows fast, aggressive,
pigeons big, aggressive,
so warblers, catbirds,
other forest birds
without lodgings elsewhere,
can no longer compete
in the struggle for life.

But for several months
food is plentiful
for domineering birds
who reproduce like wild,
nourishing their young
with food snatched from beaks
of those who can’t resist.

Then the weather changes.
It becomes colder.
People eat lunch indoors.
The food supply is gone.
Hunger becomes constant
and birds begin to die.
The young and weak go first,
unable to survive
lack of food, the cold.

When winter arrives
no one eats in the park.
More and more birds perish,
fragile city dwellers
unable to move on
to benevolent clime.
Only enough survive
to repeat the cycle
when Spring returns.

In the richest city,
in the richest country,
the death of a few birds
is never noticed,
citizens too busy
accumulating goods
to care about creatures
that don’t affect their lives.

In an undeclared war
we assault nature
with powerful weapons
of mass destruction,
devastating the Earth
without consent
of other life forms
who share the planet,
condemned to death
by a selfish species.

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About poetryfest

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This entry was posted in 2018 Poetry, new poetry, poet, poetry, Poetry Festival, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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