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North of Santa Monica

January 16, 1994

It's midnight in a drizzling fog

on Sunset Avenue and we are walking

through the scent of orange blossoms and past

a white camellia blown down or flung by someone

onto rainblack asphalt waiting

for the gray Mercedes sedan to run over

and smash its petals and leave us walking in

the smell of Diesel exhaust with

orange-blossom bouquet.

Where the next blue morning

and the gray Pacific meet

as the Palisades fall away

two sparrowhawks are beating

their tapered wings in place, watching

for jay or chewink to stray too far

from their thorny scrub to get back--

and the female suddenly towers,

her wings half-close and she stoops like

a dropping dagger, but down

the steep slope she rockets past them and turns

again into updraft to the clifftops to hover--

as the jay peers out through thorns,

and the lines of white surf whisper in.

From "An Eagle Nation" by Carter Revard. (The University of Arizona Press: $10.95) 1993 Reprinted by permission.

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