A guest on People-to-People Cuba program wrote some poems about his experience and graciously agreed to share them—all are accounts of Cuba seen through the eyes of birds. James Blackburn's poetry includes stars of Cuba's endemic bird species: the Cuban emerald hummingbird, the limkin, the Cuban tody and the red legged thrush.


The Cuban Trogon
by James Blackburn

In the mountains
North of Trinidad Cuba
On the trail of Che and Fidel and Raul.

The Cuban Trogon sits on the cicopia branch
Perched above the concrete path
Now travelled by Russian war machines
Drafted in the service of the natural ecosystem.

The trogon watches as the former army truck
From the former Soviet Union
Brings discoverers and adventurers
To see this lovely Cuban bird –
To see its rosy breast –
To see its regal self.

How poetic is the justice
Overseen by the all-knowing trogon
Who sends out his haunting call
Across the gorge,
Telling all who will listen
Of how once upon a time in Cuba,
A social political change occurred.
Not the revolution of 27 de Julio
But the transformation of mal-intent
The change from violence to respect for life
That is now witnessed by all who ride
The eco-war machines.
And Raul smiles content with the revolution.