“Pelican Ballet”: A poem by Bruce Roberts

Pelican Ballet


   Coyote Hills Park,  October,

          Still life in dry and brown

            Weeds, grass, rock

  Sand surprised on the bottom

       Of once well-watered wetlands,

          Now gasping through Fall

                  Til rain.


        But in one struggling pond—

            Lucky in water—

          There is movement.


            Flights of pelicans—

               Lift themselves

    into the air,

first one group,

  then another,

  and another,

six, seven, eight—

          squadrons of pelicans—

           some thirty strong–

spiraling skyward

       against the cloud-white,

against the blue.

             Tilting together,

         their dark underside

           Like a silhouette,

            Then turning,


         Only to flash back



        Leisurely Blue Angels


     In silent perfect formation.


          Higher and higher,

           Over and over

           They dance

          As we watch

       Stuck to the ground


             At this

        Graceful display


         Whirled peace!


                  Bruce Roberts, 2012

 Bruce Roberts, who may be reached at brobe60491@sbcglobal.net, is an accomplished sculptor and schoolteacher from Hayward, California.