Rock and Hawk
Here is a symbol in which
Many high tragic thoughts
Watch their own eyes.
This gray rock, standing tall
On the headland, where the seawind
Lets no tree grow,
Earthquake-proved, and signatured
By ages of storms: on its peak
A falcon has perched.I think, here is your emblem
To hang in the future sky;
Not the cross, not the hive,
But this; bright power, dark peace;
Fierce consciousness joined with final
Life with calm death; the falcon’s
Realists eyes and act
Married to the massive
Mysticism of stone,
Which failure cannot cast down
Nor success make proud.
I offer this poem by Robinson Jeffers as a tribute to the late Harrison "Bud" Tordoff who passed away. I did not know Bud personally, although we did communicate via e-mail about the peregrine that I photographed on the University of Minnesota St Paul Campus last fall, but I was familiar, and very grateful for all of the work that he put in to help bring the peregrine falcon back from extinction.
He was an environmentalist, a bird lover, a visionary, an inspiration and a great man.
He will be missed.