Sunday, January 14, 2007

Eagles Day Jan. 21, 2007

Annually the Jayhwak Audubon Soc., the Corps of Engineers, the Chickadee Checkoff, Westar, and ICI Perf. Products sponser this event to celebrate the presence of eagles in Lawrence and the area. This event is 11 am to 4 pm Sun. at Free State High School in Lawrence. Presentations will be Woodsy Owl 11 am, Wildflowers of Dg. Co. noon, Monarch Butterflies at 1, Bald Eagle Nesting in Ks 2 pm, and live eagles at 3. In addition, tripes to view eagles at Clinton Lake are at 9 or 3. Cook's BBQ will provide food for sale. I have never been disappointed in one of these programs.

I just returned from a trip to Arkansas and saw a couple magnificent eagles perched in trees by water. They move south as the freezing line drops so they can have access to open waterways for fishing.

I keep trying to get the right touch of eagle-energy in a poem. This was one of my early attempts, from about 1980, when they were so rare we drove out toward Lecompton to find them:

Pilgrimage of Eagles

I dream of eagles winging over the river

and know northern waters are frozen shut.

The same band of eagles returns

to cottonwoods on the Kaw.

They forgive us our cities and persist,

following open waters just past the edge of ice.

Each year we journey up River Road

to watch them circle clouds like Gods,

drop, and take fish.

They silence the children.

When snow arrives from the northlands

they appear and enter our dreams.

We sense them for miles away

like geese flying over at midnight--

voices calling from just beyond conversation.

Eagles bring sleet, a curtain of darkness:

the long season of what remains

after wind strips away familiar summer.

We learn to listen for them in the dark,

within the quietest moments of sleep.

c. Denise Low