Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Owl in the Black Oaks

If a lynx, that plush fellow,

climbed down

tree and left behind

his face, his thick neck

and, most of all, the lamps of his eyes,

there you would have it

the owl,

the very owl

who haunts these trees...

Almost every day

I spy him out

among the knots and the burls

looking down

at his huge feet,

at the path curving through the trees,

at whatever is coming up the hill

toward him,

and, though I'm never ready-

though something unspeakably cold

always drops through my heart-

it is a moment

as lavish as it is fearful...

and sometimes the whole body

tilts forward, and the beak opens,

clean and wonderful

like a cup of gold.

I am looking for our summer owl. She is a Barred Owl that every summer hunts from our backyard clothes line. I miss her and fear that her eyes will not be surveying our grass for meals. Her absence haunts me. I long for her to fill the chalice of my soul, a bright light in the fading light of summer's eve. But perhaps if she doesn't come I will spy another vigil holder - the gopher tortoise's yellow eyes looking out from her cool burrow underneath the clothes line. Her eyes, the owl eyes, mine eyes. Oh yes, I have seen the glory.

Where do you tilt forward to take in the life around you?


  1. Most recently I have tilted forward to see if some pollinator has visited my strawberry plants flowers, such that they will turn into strawberries soon.

    The neighbor children spent yesterday bringing me things that they had caught for me to tilt my head over and peer into their plastic containers. They found Mostly spiders yesterday. While counting them to make their owner happy I also looked to be sure none of them was a black widow spider. I have seen those around here. They like to make their webs under plastic patio chairs and a little table I have. I check before sitting down.

  2. From Tee Lee-
    This spring/summer, I hear again the toad in his home under the deck..and I tilt forward to the sound, which, I don't know why, this year of all years, transports me into this place. It seems I can only really feel its beauty when the toad brings it. I try, unsuccessfully I'm afraid, to explain to my partner how this is so, and why this year. My best guess is that the toad's song is pulling my childhood forward into the present, and mending some things torn long ago.

  3. I see you, leaning into your yard, listening, growing whole as you hear the invitation to Mr. Toad's Wild ride.

    Glad to be back with you,