The Beauty of Bloody Motion

Saw the birds against the July sun
through squinting eyes shielded by my hands.
The hawk descended and I heard
the last shrill cooing, the triumphant cawing.
The pigeon ceased flying its own course,
as the hawk flew a perfect downward parabola
with the tip of the trajectory touching the prey.
A seamless conic section,
for the rising curve was also smooth.
The talons held the dead bird tightly,
and the hawk never wavered in its ascent.
The raptor flew,
flew until only sky and clouds remained to be seen.
Eons of evolution perfected this geometry of motion,
this perfect kill.

I confess an attraction for such skill.
Even a chicken slaughterer holds me wide-eyed
if the blade is deftly flicked.
A sleek fighter jet firing a silvery missile to a fiery explosion
makes me forget that someone may be the burning target.
A well-done public execution would draw a sell-out audience,
and with my collar pulled over my face, I'd follow the mob.
Museums display art.
But art is not only the static and tangible,
but also the dynamic and ephemeral.
And movement can be toward awesome horror.
A boxer's well-landed punch is as controlled as a ballerina's dance.
The beauty of bloody motion is an artistry of thrill and trepidation,
an ethical teaser creating an inability to hide the eyes,
even if they must stare directly at the July sun.
2003 Richard Fein

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