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January 8, 2014

A Feathered River Across The Sky - The Passenger Pigeon

Lately, the Passenger Pigeon has been a topic of conversation around the USEE office.  A now extinct species, the Passenger Pigeon used to fly in packs so large  over the U.S. and Canada that they could block out the sun for days.  Could you imagine? 

Coincidentally, yesterday on my drive into work, I was able to listen to the Diane Rehm show on NPR all about the Passenger Pigeon.  Click here to listen yourself.  It's fascinating.   During the show, there was an email from a "Justina" who worked with students and prepared field trips all about the Passenger Pigeon.  I knew at once that it was Justina Parsons-Bernstein, who is the Heritage and Outdoor Education Resources Coordinator at Utah State Parks and a big supporter of USEE.

Justina expressed her emotions when researching the Passenger Pigeon, and also shared with me this poem she wrote.  Enjoy!

Imagine a Winged Milky Way
running dark torrents through 3,000 miles of daylight
Hollow-boned Romansreveling in cyclonic orgies
gorging on gorgeous banquets of acorns, beechnuts and buckwheatcrushing trees under the weight of their empire

Could their joyous brains
contents contained in the tip of a thimblecomprehend the end of their reign

5,000,000,000 feathered heartbeats
silenced in a single century
A white hole in the avian galaxyCollateral damage of human expansion

The Passenger Pigeon is extinct
Can the stars be far behind
by Justina Parsons-BernsteinCopyright 2008

1 comment:

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