Las quiñosas de Viñales

Until Cuba I had never seen a vulture (quiñosa) in real life.
Until Cuba I had never seen a vulture (quiñosa) in real life.

Curtained by mountains quiñosas circle,

Charcoal, feathered watchmen of the air.

Beady glass eyes;

Their fixed gaze on the herd.

Each turn of their crooked necks;

Nothing sneaks past, every whisper heard.

.

These winged watchmen do not soar high,

They hover low out of arms reach.

Weathered feathers faltering

Waiting to prey on death,

Although nothing appears to be

Drawing its last breath.

Nothing appears to be dieing,

Albeit nor is it thriving.

Nor is it thriving.

.

How long have they been waiting?

I ponder at the crest of the mirador.

Perhaps distant whispers billowed in along the breeze?

From the Gulag, the Great Famine and the Cambodian Killing Fields?

Murmurs of atrocity, of corruption,

Destruction, depravity, of broken spirit.

Solidifying their skepticism of the system,

Anticipating the theoretical inevitable.

.

For hence they hover low out of arms reach.

Weathered feathers faltering,

Waiting to prey on death.

Although nothing appears to be

Drawing its last breath.

Nothing appears to be dieing,

Albeit nor is it thriving.

Nor is it thriving.

View from the Viñales mirador
The mirador: Where thoughts made it to paper
On patrol: A vulture flies low in Viñales
On patrol: A vulture flies low in Viñales
quiñosa beady eye
I was fascinated by their vigilance
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