Dunlin Swarm

Thousands of birds in a Dunlin cloud
rise from the muddy shallows

into slithering dragon silhouettes
that spin silver as they slide

over the winding shore
and shimmer into giant billows

turning inside out, rolling side to side
seeming to vanish before the sky

then suddenly flash a massive swirl
of twisting sunlit scales

that climb, dive and glide
back and forth beside the bay

until they fold a final curl
and furl like falling sails.

        -from Oak Bones

-- Jim Gronvold
The Joyful Boy

Im the Crossing Guard, with a pudgy day-glo vest
and a loud red sign that shouts at cars to STOP,

and hes a ten-year-old with buzz-cut sandy hair
below a flower-spotted Christopher Robin umbrella

who ambles down the road for half an easy mile
to where Im standing waiting at the crosswalk

in my drift of alder leaves and slow November rain,
filled with everybodys somber autumn certainties;

but hes looking at the trees, and the streaming hills,
and the rain-slick stretch of asphalt, and the school,

and hes smiling with that easy inward-outward 
smile that our children never smile anymore,

and Im so surprised I say to him, Youre joyful!
and he thinks, and says, I am, and smiles at me,

and then we cross the road. He starts up the hill,
still ambling that amble children have forgotten,

and then he stops and says to me, says just to me,
And Ill be here tomorrow, too. And I know he will.

-- Bill Noble