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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.

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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
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    • 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!

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