Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Night Wanderer

Flying Fruit Bat

When the clear night wind 
sweeps out of the West
With the going down of the sun,
I watch for the flight of
the little black bat,
My shadow-winged, velvet One!

I see him flit in the deepening dusk,
On the edge of the wind up high,
Where the tops of the pines are furry black
On the golden-orange sky.

Bats fly at sunset outside the Yolo Causeway,
a three mile viaduct on Interstate 80 that
connects the cities of Davis and Sacramento, California

I watch him dart through the windy leaves,
In silvery whispering groves
Of oak and maple and poplar trees
The little wild creature loves.

And oh, to be as that wandering sprite
Free-winged in the summer dark,
Who knows the ways of the wide, sweet night
No eyes on the earth can mark!

Ah, wild sky-rover, so lone, so small,
Adrift on the deeps of the air,
Your little dark sail is a luring call
To my spirit to follow there.

And free am I and glad am I
As you of the wandering flight
When I spread the wings of my thought to fly
Through the space and the peace of night.

Ethel B. Howard

Lesser long-nosed bat pollinating a Saguaro cactus
in the desert Southwest

Despite their undeserved, fearsome reputation in
association with Dracula and vampires, bats are one
of God's most intelligent and useful creatures as
the above photograph demonstrates.

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