“ Sauvie Island
A leak in the clouds lets sunlight spill across the land.
Geese cackle and honk, a pair of Osprey whistle
from their nest, and Wigeons and Mallards contribute
squeak and quack to the cacophony. Yet over it all
High above spreads the bugling of Sandhill Cranes.
Their calls make the air vibrate, hinting of primitive compulsions
carried across time from ages when long-gone species ran
and swam in seas and prairies that are gone as well.
The sounds of the crane reverberate through their
elongated and convoluted trachea that can only have
evolved to produce such music. Humans can only listen
and marvel that such sounds pre-date cave art, villages,
stone tools and even digital recordings. This sound
both ancient and inimitable belie a hope that they
can out-live the damage we humans commit. Whatever
sentient creatures are about in some future time they
will be sure to halt and listen when those yet-to-be cranes bugle.”