Photo of silhouetted swallow by Debbie Ross
They’re quartering the river
the swallows and the swifts
hunting where mosquitos swarm.
Not for them the hot meadow air
sandstorm dry and thick with dust.
Precocious summer swells
and swallows sap and singing
the high-pitched swift-shrill unheard
in this thunder-ocean overhead
where kites and buzzards plough
scything the burnished billows.
-Dave Garbutt (He says of it: It was written after the genocides in Burundi under Bokasa, which was before the more well known genocide In Rwanda. I would not write it this way now, but it expands on the bad name Swifts had in the past. )