Oriental Darter Birds

by R. K. Biswas

Something disturbs.   
There is a movement
in the rushes and waterweeds. And you
see them rise
as one. They dive
into paling air. Black
flap of wings dropping dew-like
returning water to the marsh beneath
them. They dive upwards.
Their necks snaking
towards sky. Smoke
from scud scatters at a touch
of their webbed feet. Light swims
from wing
tip to wing tip.     
Into the waiting blue
they go. Become dots like pock
marks on sky-skin. And then,
downward bound again
they swoop
to where the minnows
beckon, and frogs play
dead among the unhurried pace
of water snails.  Intense-eyed they seek
only that
which their bodies can keep.
Unlike man.  Unlike
man’s ceaseless greed.