Egyptian Vulture


How many ways to kill our pasts?

On wings which carried deserts north

The pharaoh’s birds would soar with souls.

We clipped those wings and pinned those souls.


How many desolations built?

From mountain peaks to Shiva’s shrine:

We emptied every one of birds

And wondered at the silent skies.


How many ways to carve our guilt?

Those perfect wings, those lines of flight,

Which glide from life to life beyond.

Those messengers of ancient tombs.


Out of the sun there wheeled the birds:

How many ways to praise this world?



11 Comments to “Egyptian Vulture”

  1. The Egyptian Vulture is one of the widest distributed birds on the Red List of Endangered Birds. It is found in Southern Africa, North Africa, Southern Europe and across into India. Across its range it is facing a variety of threats, from poisoning, to shooting, to loss of food/habitat. In the last ten years there has been a catastrophic collapse in its numbers.

  2. It’s awful to think that such a versatile creature is threatened by a variety of human behaviours. Your poem makes the potential loss all the more poignant since it is not only the birds, but all the connections they are involved in that could be lost forever.

  3. Sad what humans do to the wildlife of the world, how many need to be built indeed.

  4. We had this happen with the Red Kite.
    Then there was a turn about and in just a few years their numbers increased to safe levels.
    It can happen.
    You stated the plight beautifully.

  5. i like the turn to the positive and the beautiful in that last couplet…it contrasts nicely with the rest of it…

  6. A nice read. I’m glad that I dropped by.
    Mark Butkus

  7. There is power in your words ~ I feel sorry for their plight, clipping their wings, we are indeed a sorry selfish lot ~

  8. Very articulate and one can connect with it as it explores a bitter past that we like to hide as well as the guilty trips!

  9. …coutless i would say… sometimes in creating our own sky we believe it’s enough to say we belong to it… but in reality we are still & will always be a complete stranger for there are many many ways on how to fly this sky we create… discovery is a life long process… smiles…

  10. Wonderful rhythm in your poem, and a message that rings so very true for many endangered species.

  11. Man is despicable and you point out why so well here in this poem. Love the music of it.

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