Riggindale Eagle #poetry #earthweal

Man writes in his pompousness
of my magnificence, I
inspire in him dread and awe

Often, I would see him
face upturned in the valley below
straining his head-stalk, watching my swoop and plough

Catching a thermal, hitching a free ride, up, up
to the dizzying wide
empty blue (or often, grey)
with a clear eye to search out prey

The truth of my magnificence is this:
a large body, blessed with graceful flight
burns far more fuel than it finds to eat

So often that the body thins, the feathers fall
hope dies
when my eyrie-twin is gone
one day and never to return

I looked for her, through years of circling flight
she never did return
and Man, who stole our habitat
has mountains left to learn.

ยฉย 2022ย experimentsinfiction.com. All Rights Reserved.

Written for earthweal

For this week’s challenge, Brendan asks us to ‘write an animal poem, ensouled with the animal body in your animal mind. You can embrace the extra-human wherever it is found, in beast, fish, tree, land- or seascape or star canopy.’

I always feel a bit of a fraud with this kind of exercise, because I honestly have no idea what goes through the mind of an eagle, and this type of personification feels a bit presumptuous. However, I tried to do it with good reason, to tell the sad tale of the Riggindale Eagle, and the sadder tale of Man’s stewardship of planet earth.

49 thoughts on “Riggindale Eagle #poetry #earthweal

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  1. Long back a pack of vultures used to pass daily over my house at v. low altitude but by & by they all vanished.
    Sometimes i wonder why do they keep going higher & higher even in scorching sun light of summers, perhaps they enjoy the flight, may be not only for food only…

  2. I often wonder what animals think. This is a lovely attempt–and eagles are so magnificent. I just looked up the Riggindale eagle. The bald eagles around here seem to be doing well, after they were heading toward extinction decades ago.

    1. I think there are more golden eagles in the Scottish Highlands, so maybe one day they will be reintroduced hereโ€ฆ

  3. I love seeing the eagle through your eyes and think you captured it very well. I love it.

  4. I greatly enjoyed this poem, especially, โ€œ and Man, who stole our habitat
    has mountains left to learn.โ€ Awesome ending to a wonderful poem, Ingrid.

  5. I distance from those who say linking human and animal is anthropomorphism, we are animals and animals are us — the error is making animals too human, which after our experience, who’d want that? So the reaching is important, stretching awareness to embrace the kinship. That’s what is here, the flight and hunger, the supreme raptor’s high disdain of terran smoothness and apt explanation. Great contribution to the challenge, Ingrid.

  6. I think you’ve done an excellent job presenting this, expressing what it might be like for a winged creature in a world with no longer the room to fly…””straining his head-stalk” I loved that totally apt phrase, Ingrid, and I often feel like that’s all we do, strain without finding a solution. I also felt your echoes of the sadness within that I am sure even animals and birds feel when that intrinsic part of them, their mate, is lost. The news at your link is also so heart-breaking, not that one old bird should return to the earth, but that there are no more of his kind to lift our hearts with their soar.

  7. I have often been amazed at the raptures in the sky. They are beautiful with precision vision. I think man does indeed have mountains to learn and man will never fly like an eagle as it takes a great spirit to soar such heights. It a higher level of consciousness that we can only dream of…sigh

  8. “straining his head-stalk” Haha! The plight of the eagle who must hunt for food and for his nest twin . . .YES. And I understand your note. I didn’t think about anthropomorphism when writing my poem because I thought we were writing as if the animal were a POEM! So I read yours about the words and hunger of the poem as eagle–its splendor and grief–and even its disgust at being mis-seen and mis-interpreted. (If people don’t read my title, they may think my poem is about sex! Horrors!)

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