The Physics of Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds 1

What vast endurance
must these tiny creatures brave-
such grace
and nimbleness in flight.
Aerial dancers, swift and light,
embellished gems
of emerald and rubies in their wings-
crucial feathers, dignified
by alloyed gold and steel.
How do these trembling hearts
force fire
into wing and bone,
hollow and mercurial?
Enhanced essence of air
streamed from nectar of flowers
elegance equaling
the energy expended.
What formulae of geometry and physics
can prove these creatures?
What wing,
what heart,
what soul?

*** Our hummingbirds, that have graced our yard with their presence all spring and summer, are leaving for their winter homes in Central America. I took one feeder down today to wash and store for the arrival of next Aprils guests. The other 2 feeders will stay up for a few more weeks. I always like to leave at least one feeder out- just in case there is a slow poke heading south that needs a rest and a little snack for the trip.

10 thoughts on “The Physics of Hummingbirds

  1. I love watching the hummers all summer long feeding in the garden – I keep one feeder just outside the sunroom in view from where I sit – I will miss them but know they shall return. Lovely poem, Kathleen.

  2. I love your aerial dancers and “How do these trembling hearts force fire
    into wing and bone,” My feeders are all still up and are slowly being emptied, though at a much slower rate…….our neighbor swears she had hummingbirds all last winter which I find astonishing…….I will keep an eye out for them through the fall……..love your poem!

  3. “How do these trembling hearts force fire into wing and bone?” Lovely writing here throughout; these lines are exceptionally good!

    (I have to apologize to our hummingbirds–at the beginning of spring the kids kicked a soccer ball and broke our feeder and I did not replace it. The only hummers we saw this year were on their way to the neighbor’s!)

    • I have laughed each year that I need a part time job just to buy sugar! We have 3 large feeders that with each fledgling class, I will refill 3 to 4 times a day. Our yard is edged by majestic cedars and the hummers love the evergreen boughs.Such a small price to have such joy in our midst – now go buy a feeder for next year – they are probably on sale! smiles – K

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