Photos: The Maguari Stork
at the San Francisco Zoo


I see the stork in
Keats' Philosophical Back
Garden— both at peace.


O wise old stork—
What lesson are you going
to teach me today?


Touching his back with
his head, he was teaching me—
"Go back to your home!"

I first saw the Maguari Stork at the San Francisco Zoo on Nov. 1, 2006. The stork bent its neck 180º backwards touching its back to my utter amazement. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera to record that acrobatic feat. I returned with a friend to the zoo on Wednesday, December 6, 2006, hoping to catch the stork's repeat performance. These photos were taken at the San Francisco Zoo around 5 pm. This time the stork appeared tired or sleepy and did not perform at all despite my repeat promptings. Then I began pumping my arms and stomping my feet to Native American dancing and chanting "Heh! Ye! Heh! Ye!" The stork finally responded to my chants and did his 180º backwards head-tilt. I snapped my photo at that moment. Unfortunately, it was a head-on shot (see photo at left), and all I caught was a flurry ball of furry feathers. When Robert Pinsky asked the class to bring in a poem using one word with different shades of meaning, I wrote a poem "The Maguari Stork" about my experience that day. (PYC, 1-25-2007)

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (1-25-2007)