NaPoWriMo 09 – day 14

owl-in-the-night-by-dave-hicks3 am

and the owls are at it again.

From our bed, I can see
through the ceiling,
through the slates and
into the fabric of summer night.

Without meaning, I am out of bed
at the door in my nightdress,
turning the key. The stone wall
of our house hugging me close.

Astride the roofbeam,
chin resting on folded arms
I am staring straight at him
but see nothing

until he turns, eyes
bright as the moon,
considering me.

When he leapt into the air,
when he glided across the field
towards the ruined barn
I was ready behind him

seedheads scratching my legs,
the hedge clutching at my hem.

What can I tell you
that you will believe?
My love, I have seen such strangeness.




horned-owl-by-mike-wilkinsonHeaven only knows where this one is going. It’s possible that it may turn into a Venery poem. Have to see. At the moment I’m just putting it down as an odd but potentially interesting beginning. One possibility – my other half has quite short hair, which sometimes sticks up at the front a bit like the tufts of a horned owl … hmm, maybe the “he” in the poem won’t be in bed when “I” get back? Shades of Ian Duhig’s wonderful poem The Lammas Hireling?

It is based in a true event though – one night in the height of summer, I was woken up by the sound of two owls having very loud owl-sex on the roof. It sounded like someone getting creative with a sound-effects CD, it really did. I eventually went outside to try and work out what the heck was going on, and how much longer it was likely to be going on for. One owl flew away pretty much as soon as I got outside, but the other was still perched up on top of the power pole. And it wasn’t until he looked down at me that I was sure that was what I was looking at. (I say “he”, but I have no way of knowing.)

Should you wish to learn more about owls in general, The Owl Pages is a very useful website. (See, a public service as well as painfully honest poetry-in-motion!)


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