I wrote this poem about Black Vultures at the writing and yoga retreat in February–Chacala, Mexico. Like our Turkey Vultures, they roost together and often soar the thermals. Here they join Frigatebirds. The word “tesselation” struck me as fitting for the repeating and intricate patterns for those who watch the sea and…the mathematical doings of vultures that deserve to be praised often for their community service every day–our clean up crews!


Two Black Vultures

Hunch in a Palm Tree

Daydreaming of carrion


Morning seas tesselate

Memories of star patterns

Like fractured dreams


Flap, flap sway

The branches bow as

Two birds become 12


Their toes clasp the fronds

In uneasy meditation

Too tipsy for this


Swoosh swoosh swoosh

Night wings barrel

Straight for my balcony


With every downward shove

White wingtips chalk

The air into twin spirals


Now one, then three, then six

Black Vultures sweep away on pale legs

Billowing across the cove


Light sponges the grime from

blue and white fishing boats

Cocooned in their moorings


Two Black Vultures

Tip featherless gray heads

Shrug glamorous black wings


Wait for the coming thermals

Buoying them above Chacala

In the soar of our longing.

Black Vultures soar above Chacala, Mexico
These are the palm trees where Black Vultures roost, as witnessed from the balcony at dawn overlooking the cove of Chacala.
Black Vultures hanging out on rocks with a heron and shorebirds.
A lone Frigatebird flies over the fishing boats moored in the cove of Chacala.
This photo and featured taken by David Cole Photography–in another place, yet so similar!