Nazca hummingbird


               by Tim Myers

Once the hummingbird

comes to you

in a dream

(they are, as the Nazca knew,

messengers from

the mountain gods),

once it has hovered before you

blurring wings of beryl, topaz, cobalt,

hungry for nectar dips its long bill

into you,

leaving soft grains of sun-yellow pollen

against the walls of your throat,

Poet, wake up, avoid

at all costs

the sad silence of denying

that seed-ache,


planted there

at the root of your tongue.

(from That Mass at Which the Tongue Is Celebrant,

Pecan Grove Press, 2008)

All text copyright Tim Myers 2008

   For almost a thousand years, the Nazca people of what is now Peru constructed huge geoglyphs, hundreds of lined-out figures scattered across the Nazca Desert, one of the driest places on Earth.  (A source states that it receives an average of only 20 minutes of rain annually).  One of these figures is a hummingbird, shown in the aerial photo here.

   I’ve long been deeply drawn to

hummingbirds, and I use the Nazca

hummingbird as my personal symbol.

   The black and white drawing is by my son Seth.