The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

on our earth, the killdeer

we are on earth for such a shorttime, we have no more than a picture.
the picture is what we think of when we say, 'the way things are.'
just yesterday or tomorrow, something new, perhaps a bee.
the bee pollenates a flower shortly after our death.
there is a storm somewhere.
just now, i am beginning to understand the alarm calls of the killdeer.
the ghost of a shorebird, the feint, the run, the back and forth.
everything, everyone, lives in a different world.
i can say this because the image is always a sad image, the image is in
mourning for our death.

like neural signals, the killdeer calls are a mix of analog and digital
phenomenology - their frequency is very narrow, and the repetitions of
standard (most likely territorial or display) calls are easily comprehen-
ded - at least they appear to be (the cry of the killdeer is easily iden-
tified) - on the other hand, there are temporal processes, non-standard
pitch and repetition, which present information, in this case alarm based
on distance, degree of threat, etc. - as far as i can tell - which means
nothing at all - on the sample you hear both calls and responses and the
changes within individual calls as well.

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