This week’s poem offers a hopeful view of our world by considering how birds deal with borders, trade agreements and other such rules that human create.

Dennis Camire lives in an A-frame in West Paris and teaches writing at Central Maine Community College and the University of Maine at Augusta. His poems have appeared in The Mid American Review, Poetry East Magazine, Spoon River Review, Off the Coast, Three Nations Anthology and other places.

 Some Words on Birds and Borders

By Dennis Camire

Let’s praise all the world’s birds

Unconcerned with shots and passports

As they cross disputed borders

Then refuse to seek permission to

Touch down on the river’s moonlit landing strip.


And let’s sing of those crazy, Canada geese

Violating North American Trade agreements

As their bellies import unknown grains

And they don’t stop for the bomb

And pot sniffing dogs.


And see how a single winged being

Is yet to heed a “no fly zone”

Between this and that warring country

Where one general notes

“Soldiers turn into amateur birders


Watching over no man’s land”

Where grouse seek spouses

Along mine-laced gravel roads

And falcons let their young fly over

The steel trees of anti-aircraft artillery.


And Imagine, now,

The seeds of peace being sown

By the peacock caught

Between the troops’ cross-fire

Or by the mother cardinal nesting


In a tree overlooking the killing fields;

And you–birder of words–

Unsure if you can fly into

The altitudes of this altruism

Where flocks of hopeful thoughts


Are flushed from the single thrush

Admired through the sniper’s scope,

When did the b-52 of blue heron

Ever fail to drop, into the pond,

Anything but its body’s beautiful bomb?


Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is a poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2017 Dennis Camire. It appears in “Combed by Crows” (Deerbrook Editions, 2017) and appears here by permission of the author. For an archive of all the poems that have appeared in this column, go to

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