Home > The Crowd > One Hundred White Pelicans

One Hundred White Pelicans

November 23, 2010

by Robin Chapman

Over Wyalusing, riding thermals, they shine
and disappear, vanish like thought,
re-emerge stacked, stretched,
a drifting fireworks’ burst.

We can’t stop looking up from paddling,
imagining how high they must be
to look so tiny, flecks of light.
Battling against headwind, we thrill

to see—we think we see—
their third dimension of effortless life,
scattershot, high in the blue sky,
turning in sun—white, silver, ash, gone,

how we could ride, carried
on rising currents of air, wide view,
steadily accompanied. As they are.
And on the river’s back, we too.


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Robin Chapman (webpage) is author of five chapbooks and six books of poems, most recently Abundance, winner of the Cider Press Review Editor’s Book Award. She is recipient of the 2010 Appalachia Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared recently in Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, and online in Qarrtsiluni and Valparaiso Poetry Review.

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  1. Alex Cigale
    December 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    We’re putting the translation issue to bed, so I finally have a moment to catch on what I’ve missed of Crowds and this is a beauty. Proud to have you and your work with us for the coming number!

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