NPR logo Traveler


From the foot of Cotopaxi
and across the Gulf

a Blackburnian warbler
follows a pulse,

follows Polaris
and the Pole's magnetic field

through travail
and travel's long ordeal,

until he drops
to a black walnut's
pinnate leaves

tossing like waves
in the North Sea

and glances toward
my lamplit, stationary world
of smooth planes:

against a cloud,
his throat's flame.

From Traveler by Devin Johnston. Copyright 2011 by Devin Johnston. Excerpted by permission of the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.


by Devin Johnston

Hardcover, 67 pages |


Buy Featured Book

Devin Johnston

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.