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July 30, 2008
Up in Smoke
"There are too many,
Our communities are overrun.
They must be annihilated-
Erased from the earth."
Imported to Central Park on a whim
To bring Shakespeare's references to life
Chosen 30 pairs of starlings became millions
Creative, adaptive, aggressive survivors.
Iridescent black plumage
Concentrated in a murmuration of thousands as if
Undulating in smoke plumes against a dusky sky
Like liquid amoeba, elongating and bunching en masse.
"They are a pestilence, unwelcome and unwanted;
They must be identified, rounded up,
Trapped and eliminated
To remove their influence from society."
Fruit gathered innocently
From nurturing orchards
Used to line the snares, to entice flocks
To eat together, never to fly again.
The government traps cleverly disguised as feeders
Close over the birds, plunging them into darkness
Then gassed, they totter and fall
Atop each other, piled without pity, then burned.
"We must eliminate fifty percent of the population annually
To control their proliferation and the damage they inflict
Their kind is not wanted, not needed
There are too many."
The mass extermination of the reviled and hated
Continues: enticed, led, fed, trapped and
Gassed; finally escaping to the sky
In an undulating black plume of smoke