Skip to content

Bird call

March 29, 2011

OwlOn the phone last night to a friend,

Looking out across rooves as I

Complained about the new arrangements at work again,

I saw a silhouette

Against the neighbour’s lamplit window.


Black shape of a large bird

– perched on an aerial –

Framed in the golden square.


‘So after the meeting I thought fuck you , of course, and then he –’

Twisted its head and preened feathers,

Sat as still as stone,

Spread a powerful wingspan,

Lifted and was gone.


‘Well, if he thinks I’m going to come around to –’

A fluttering caught my eye.

The wings so much grander than the usual pigeon’s

And anyway, no pigeon in the dark.

A bat?  But the feathers, the box-shaped tail.


Now, in my own yard,

Landed on the Hills Hoist,

Swayed, talons gripped the wire –

Its round head swiveled as if in a socket

Pale face – an owl.


What message from the wild?

This wildness I’ve never seen here –

Never in more than 40 years of city life, tram stops, supermarket shopping.

‘Sorry? Look, I have to go.  See you at book club, yeah.’


The clothesline bare and bouncing.

Flown while I was hanging up.

Then a distant trombone note

And another, far away.

What message from the night’s great hunter?

What message?

Am I, as usual, too late to know?


I wrote this poem the other night.  Feedback welcome.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2013 2:47 pm

    Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet
    Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick
    heads up! Other then that, wonderful blog!

    • May 10, 2013 1:37 am

      Thanks for the heads up. It looked okay in Internet Explorer for me this morning. As soon as I get time, I’ll check it out some more!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: