This series features Black Guillemots -- Cepphus grylle, around the midcoast of Maine with a poem by Pablo Neruda:
'If I could speak with birds,
with oysters and with little lizards,
with the foxes of the Dark Forest,
with the exemplary penguins;
if the sheep,
the languid woolly lapdogs,
the cart horses would understand me;
if I could discuss things with cats,
if hens would listen to me!
It has never occurred to me to speak
with elegant animals:
I am not curious
about the opinions of wasps
or of racing mares.
Let them settle matters while flying,
let them win decorations by running!
I want to speak with flies,
with the bitch that has recently littered,
and to converse with snakes.
When I had feet for walking
in triple nights now past,
I followed the nocturnal dogs,
those squalid travelers
that trot in silence
with great haste traveling nowhere,
and I followed them for many hours.
They mistrusted me,
ah, poor stupid dogs,
they lost their opportunity
to pour out their sorrows,
to run through streets of ghosts
with grief and tail.
I have always been curious
about the erotic rabbit.
Who excites them and whispers
in their genital ears?
They procreate endlessly
and pay no attention to Saint Francis,
they hear no nonsense:
the rabbit mounts and remounts
with an inexhaustible organism.
I wish to speak with the rabbit,
I like his flighty habits.
Spiders are wasted
on exasperating naturalists who
in their foolish pages
see them with a fly’s eyes,
describe them as devouring,
carnal, unfaithful, sexual, lascivious.
For me this reputation
provides a portrait of those who
impute it to them:
the spider is an engineer,
a divine watchmaker,
that the idiots detest
for a fly more or less.
I want to converse with a spider:
I want her to weave me a star.
Fleas interest me so much
that I let them bite me for hours.
They are perfect, ancient, Sanskrit,
machines that admit of no appeal.
They do not bite to eat,
they bite only to jump;
they are the dancers of the celestial sphere,
in the softest and most profound circus;
let them gallop on my skin,
divulge their emotions,
amuse themselves with my blood,
but someone should introduce them to me.
I want to know them closely,
I want to know what to rely on.
I have never been able to become
intimate with ruminants in any deep way,
yet I am a ruminant;
I do not understand their not understanding me.
I must take up this subject
grazing with cows and oxen,
and working out plans with bulls.
In some manner I will know
so many intestinal things
which were hidden within
like clandestine passions.
What does the pig think of the dawn?
They do not sing but they hold it up
with their great rosy bodies,
with their hard little feet.