Vultures, Blue Jays & Geese

So the latest edition of BellaOnline Mused is out. I have two pieces in this one. I’m always so proud when I am accepted to this endeavor. I love much of the other works (particularly the photography) and am often inspired by them. That happened with this one. I saw a series of zoo animal photographs. One of them was an intense vulture. I looked at that bird thinking “but vultures are supposed to be ugly.” The response in my head was “there’s beauty in the vulture.”

What resulted was this poem. I shared it with a co-worker who was confused about a vulture being beautiful because they were associated with death. Then I looked at this poem again and realized that the poem could be about the beauty of death or even suicide in a way. It’s a bit macabre, but then again, some of my poetry can be that way.

Vulture Beauty

Consider the beauty in the vulture.
Piercing views of God’s skies.
Nostrils wide to the winds.
I can smell Nirvana this way.

Cast my heart inside the swoop
Of wide-spread, heartfelt beats
Lifting me up, then up, then up
To the sun where my wax holds.

These hope-filled wings support
The beauty of the soaring heart.
There’s a beauty in this vulture
That impels me off the canyon’s lip.

Peer into my steady amber knowing.
I see into your soul and through.
Open your mouth to gulp the wind.
Brace yourself against my breast.

Become the beauty. Become the vulture.
Dare to dance in wide swoops.
Lift yourself up, then up, then up.
I promise you will drink the wind.

6/21/2010
Stephanie Arwen Lynch

Written upon seeing A Day At The Zoo I ‘Cinereous Vulture’. Digital Photography by Karen Sorbello.

Birds have been on my mind a lot of late. I’ve been watching a family of blue jays who have been hanging out on my apartment building roof. I love the demanding, shrill squeals of the fledgings who harangue their parents for more food. They are a comical bunch.

Then Sunday night, I was at dinner with friends at a local restaurant. A goose wandered up to a friend. It allowed small children to pet it and showed no fear. It also had an injured wing. I determined that I was going to catch it so that I could take it to the wildlife rehabilitators.

Go me. I “caught” a domestic pet. Yep. The minute I scooped her up, the goose settled down in my arms. I still thought the wing was broken so I goosenapped her. After some internet research, I determined that she was a female Chinese Swan Goose. I did further research on what she might like to eat, etc, and came across a condition called Angel Wing. I discussed this with a vet’s nurse this morning. We think (she also has a pair of pet geese) that the wing is not broken but is this particular condition.

The good news is that the wildlife rehab folks told me to keep her. She’s not a wild creature. Rather she’s a domesticated gal. I have been looking up goose harnesses and other things today as well. Her name is Josephine. It just suits her so well.

She’s incredibly affectionate. I sat in the bathroom with her this morning and she crawled into my lap. As she lay there letting me pet her, my heart just ached for this poor creature. She’s obviously been imprinted on humans so that means she was probably a pet for at least a while. Then she got big. And geese are incredibly messy. I have already had to hose down my bathtub and scrub the floor down once today. I get so angry with people who don’t THINK before they get an animal. Then they toss the creature out at a local park because after all, it’s just a goose. They never stop to think that the goose doesn’t know it’s a goose. It thinks it’s a human.

Truly makes my blood just boil. I want to put up flyers all over the park to tell people what JERKS they are for doing this. I know it’s just ignorance but don’t you think people would be smart enough to learn about a creature before they bring it into their homes? Geese live on average 18-20 years. This particular type of waterfowl is the most common indoor pet goose.

So I’m glad I goosenapped this darling girl. I do have an ad out in case her owner is frantically looking for her. I don’t have high hopes for that.

But I am joyful to be able to say, “Hey! I have a goose in my bathroom.” It’s a great conversation starter.

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