beaded trout

The Diversity of Birds at Fort Gibson Lake, Oklahoma

Fort Gibson Lake,

Fringed on the east and west

By wooded hills and creeks

And prairie grasslands;

At dawn

The sky's turned on

With the swoop and swirl of brightly feathered wings;

Many species of sparrows fly: Fox, Swamp, Lincoln's

Also gulls: Bonaparte's, Herring, Ring-billed

And two species of vultures,

In the spring trill migrant warblers: the Ovenbird, Redstart,

and Magnolia

As well as nesting warblers: the Louisiana Water thrush, the Yellow-breasted Chat.

Since Pine are plentiful, see Pine Warblers, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and

Golden-crowned Kinglets;

At the body of the lake watch waterfowl in winter,

And eagles, and snow/blue geese;

To the open grasslands soar the Lapland Longspurs, Horned Larks, and hawks;

Near Jackson and Wahoo Bay dive Common Loons and ducks

A black-haired Indian birder

Crouches in the grass

Along the creek

Where once the river cane

Sparkled with emerald parakeets.

These have disappeared

Along with the cane

And the elders who remember them.

Toni McNeilly


contents of issue 1

A Post-Colonial Irony
Tiffany Midge

The Diversity of Birds at Fort Gibson Lake, Oklahoma
Toni McNeilly

Mañanita
Nicole Henares

Visitation
Stephanie JT Russell

Jump
Trace A. DeMeyer

Legend of the ancient song bird
devorah major

The Sap is Rising
Abena Songbird

Letting Down the Stories
Kimbeerly L. Becker


Toni McNeilly Biography

Toni McNeilly, a mother, retired teacher, and member of the Cherokee Nation, writes from a Native, female, and Christian perspective. Her writing has appeared in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal and the Goingsnake Messenger.


Permission to publish poems in this one context was granted by the authors, who unless otherwise specified, hold copyright on these works.