Bats – poem

Twenty thousand pounds of insects in flight
This balmy evening, their final night.
Condemned mosquitoes dart and fly,
Tonight, is your night to die.
Your doom, the Mexican free-tail bats
Hungry to feed on you, and gnats.

Under Austin’s Congress Bridge they hang,
Preparing to catch you with open fang.
The hungry bats are two million strong,
As they, quiet, wait for a sonar gong.
Their suckling pups, they leave alone,
‘Til, parents, fed, come flying home.

The lazy sun dips to the west.
We humans, struggle for a view that’s best.
Dark waters lap on Town Lake’s shore.
We talk softly, nothing more.
We came to watch them fly away,
As they do this, and every summer day.

The cloud emerges like a whirlwind rising,
Darting, flitting, flapping, diving.
No traffic control or rules on the go,
They move fast, they are not slow.
We wonder at their extreme precision
And marvel that there’s no collision.

Tiny forms blend into night sky,
Departing, with ne’er a goodbye.
Away from the watchers into the night,
They make their way on this feeding flight.
We drive home full of awe
Marveling, at what we saw.

5 thoughts on “Bats – poem

  1. As an aircraft engineer, I remain amazed at how bats manage to keep themselves from crashing into each other. I spend quite a bit of time – even now – watching documentaries and reading up on aircraft accident reports and findings. A profession – now a hobby, almost.

    The best in human technology – can’t match nature.

    But then again, we produce the best machines born out of hundreds of thousands of man-hours of research, learning and testing – then we let loose a human in the cockpit.

    • Did you ever read “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell? There is a great chapter on pilot / control tower communications. Whole book is an eye opener but this in particular is just what you are talking about. Human error and human communications are something science cannot yet replicate. Cheerio, Jane

      • No, I can’t say that I’ve read that book.

        When I was working as a licensed engineer – a practising licence had to be renewed annually as that was how stringent the regulations were/are – all official accident and incident reports from all over the world were required reading.

        I wrote well over 300 work schedules which were all approved by the civil airworthiness authorities – and to the best of my knowledge these are still in use – albeit with constant revisions. These “schedules” as you might know, take into account all factors, including human error.

        Now the consultants call it “human factors” and charge an arm and a leg for their “expertise”.

        Yes, most aircraft accidents fall under what is broadly classified as “human error”.

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