The terror of birds at the ungreen saps
warmth from the air, palpable as the stone
taken from this mountain, now damp
in your hand, stealing heat from your body.
You walk beneath a flock of grackles staging
their getaway--nervous, rusty-hinge clucks
erupt into a chorus of screeches as they shudder
upwards, dark cloud on grey wheeling above the flames.
Higher up, lost in the low cloud ceiling, geese
circle for hours, honking themselves hoarse
in their fervor to flee the lurid scene.
At the top, you hear a gang of adolescent crows
mob an owl. They're drunk on red and orange
wine and will need all winter to get sober.