I see the cranes go rumbling by,
On scaffolded gantries or columns of steel,
But all with that arm that lifts its load
In a soaring arc or a stately wheel.

High in the air the crane man climbs,
And works many stories above the ground,
Reading the wind and working the levers,
And swinging his load around.

I see the cranes pavane together
Whenever the burden's too great for one,
Keeping some weird-shaped chunk of metal
In place and level 'til the welding's done.

I saw the other kind of crane,
A slender white heron perched on a buoy:
It felt my regard and lumbered off.
The sweep of its wings gave me such joy!

And yet the steel cranes have grace,
And majesty from strength distilled.
Man is part of Nature too:
Birds have to fly, men have to build.

—San Diego, California
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