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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


by CB Follett

High on the thermals, raptors are winging.
They circle the heights, easing south.
           Buteos, Accipiters, Harriers, Peregrine
Red Tail hawk banks against clear air, flashing
the rufous under-blush that gives him name.
          Sharp-shins, Coopers, Merlins, Ferruginous
Their beaks are curved, their plumage concinate.
Slicing the wind, in sweeps the Kestrel,
sleek, small, and bullet straight. The Windfucker.
             klee klee klee    killy killy killy

Down in the canyons, raptors are circling
in long limousines. On executive-gray car phones,
they are riding the thermals of stock buys and leverage,
their sharp claws extended. They are wheeling the air paths,
and dealing down, and their beaks are red.
             sell sell sell    buy buy buy

In the deep dark of the penta-building,
raptors rip the flesh of war,
circle the heights of power, riding
thermals of their special interests.
Hawks tear the clean white dove feathers
into ribbons of red.
               rat-tat-tat    rat-tat-tat

Deep in the dark undergrowths, the raptor is waiting.
His breathing circles, riding thermals of night,
in the parks, in the big, unweeded city.
His claws are curved, as he grabs, hurts, kills.
               And his cry is silence.

Winner of the 2001 National Poetry Book Award from Salmon Run Press, CB Follett has had poems published by Ploughshares, Alligator Juniper, Calyx, Americas Review, Peregrine, The Cumberland Review, Rain City Review, Ambit (England), The MacGuffin, Snowy Egret, Birmingham Poetry Review, New Letters Review, Psychological Perspectives, Without Halos, The Iowa Woman, Heaven Bone, Green Fuse, Black Bear Review, among others. She has been in many anthologies; received contest honors in the Billee Murray Denny, New Letters Prize, the Ann Stanford Prize, the Glimmer Train Poetry Contest and several contests from Poetry Society of America, among others. Five poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Poetry Prize plus three nominations as an individual poet. The most recent of her four collections of poetry is And Freddie Was My Darling, 2009. CB Follett is publisher/editor of Arctos Press, including the anthology, GRRRRR, A Collection of Poems About Bears; she was publisher and co-editor of RUNES, A Review of Poetry, 2001-to 2008.