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“Waiting” – a poem written by a longtime NC blog follower

1-17-14  barred owl poem IMG_3212A barred owl hunches in the snowbound oak
listening for prey. Hidden beneath,
a heedless mouse skitters its maze of tunnels,
audible under the heavy cloak
but out of reach. Hunger is immaterial
to the outcome when the snow’s this deep.
Impossible, the leap, the plunge, the thrust,
the clench of talons, their single-minded burial
in flesh. There’s nothing but the falling dusk,
and night ahead, hours more of hunger,
daybreak, sleep, another famished night.
At the last there’s nothing but the husk
desire left behind. The owl must eat
or starve, float silent as a snowflake
over fields or save its strength in vigil.
Oh life, your soft feathers fray, your wingbeats
weaken. Hoard your warmth. The dark art
of dwindling is the birthright of the heart.

Kathie Fiveash

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13 responses

  1. shielaswett

    I love Kathie Fiveash’s poem today! A lovely addition to your blog, Mary :-))

    January 17, 2014 at 1:45 pm

  2. C K Sabin

    Please, please. No more amateur “poetry”!

    January 17, 2014 at 1:50 pm

  3. dellwvt

    Ooooh. I loved this “amateur” poem – so tender and so stark. It made me catch my breath. Thank you.

    January 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

  4. Suzanne Elusorr

    Mary,

    The poem is exquisite, as is the photograph. Thank you – and thank Kathie Fiveash – for sharing it with all of us.

    Suzanne

    Suzanne Elusorr

    P. O. Box 88

    Orford, NH 03777

    603.491.9940

    January 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

  5. Regardless of one’s taste in poetry, the photo is stunning! I’ll be thinking about whether they have eaten recently when I hear the barred owls on my property calling next. (The poem is “food for thought” on the cycle of life).

    January 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

  6. Dena Rakoff

    absolutely beautiful! Thanks.

    January 17, 2014 at 3:10 pm

  7. susan hunter

    Pretty dark and depressing ! I prefer to see the promise in a perched Barred Owl. Excellent photo though.

    January 17, 2014 at 3:20 pm

  8. Lovely! I think these thoughts every time I notice a barred owl hanging out near the house (and thus near the bird-feeder) for days at a time, obviously hoping to feed on the nighttime rodents who gather to scavenge the fallen seeds.

    January 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm

  9. Wonderful! Speaks to all the beauty and sorrow of an owl in winter. Thank you for sharing it Mary.

    January 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm

  10. Grady

    Beautiful work dear friend.

    January 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm

  11. Gerry Wurzburg

    A beautiful poem by Katherine Fiveash. She has a book of naturalist writings coming out this Spring based on her observations from her home on Isle au Haut, Maine – where she can be found, always with binocs at the ready.

    January 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm

  12. Meade Cadot

    And a former student of mine! (My Antioch Field Mammalogy class). Could you send me her email address?

    Thanks Mary!

    Meade Cadot

    _____

    From: Naturally Curious with Mary Holland [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] Sent: Friday, January 17, 2014 8:38 AM To: cadot@harriscenter.org Subject: [New post] “Waiting” – a poem written by a longtime NC blog follower

    Mary Holland posted: “A barred owl hunches in the snowbound oak listening for prey. Hidden beneath, a heedless mouse skitters its maze of tunnels, audible under the heavy cloak but out of reach. Hunger is immaterial to the outcome when the snow’s this deep. Impossibl”

    January 17, 2014 at 9:27 pm

  13. Judy

    Wow. Beautiful. The last lines took my breath away.

    January 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm

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