Birdwatching

Updated: Jul 30

By Richard J. Nevle


You weave through the sky with the finest thread

Invisible but to the stone

of deep-down knowing

Stitching and restitching

the ripped seam

of the frayed, worn world

For we have torn the hem

without a thought of what awaits

in the warm dark

within small bright eggs

in the soft cup of your nest

Still, with such fine music you mend the air

With such care you tend the sky

As though tending might still yet matter

I close my eyes and wait for you

To alight on a perch so long unoccupied

Longing for your furious wings to beat inside

And stoke cold embers and coax what fire ignites

So that I might navigate this starless night

Let me join you in the mending of the broken world

Not knowing if the stitches will hold

Sewing, with still so much undone

To make a place for you and all your kin

There, on the branch, your plumage bright

With the fire of the rising sun

You sing it up from the great ribbed mountain

And leap into the waiting dawn

With the invisible thread of hope

hitched to the curve of your wing


Richard J. Nevle is the Deputy Director of Stanford University’s Earth Systems Program, where he is devoted to the intellectual formation of the next generation of environmental problem solvers.

Art by Maya Adams


This article first appeared in the print edition of Anthroposphere Issue V.

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