Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Birds in mind......

We've been doing a great deal of bird watching in the garden and down by the creek.  After the major restoration work was done to contour the creek bed, much of the vegetation had to be removed.  Mostly just grass, weeds and willows, but I missed it all, nonetheless.  And, the birds and wildlife missed it, too.  But now, they are returning.  Testing the waters.  Perching on the branches of the small new native tree plantings.  Nibbling at the ripened seeds on the wax myrtle shrubs.....and, the great horned owl gave us a brief sighting not too long ago.  As we sat down by the creek, on a rather chilly afternoon sipping hot tea, a winged form glided out from the woods, and perched on a Dug Fir snag.  He gazed at us....then flew away.  But we heard him that night....calling, and so this poem, of a different type of owl, really spoke to me......it describes so beautifully how it feels to be so transported by a bird on the wing.....

A Sighting

The gray owl had seen us and had fled
but not far. We followed noiselessly,
driving him from pine to pine:
I will not let thee go except thou bless me.

He flew as though it gave him no pleasure,
forcing himself from the bough,
falling until his wings caught him:
they had to stroke hard, like heavy oars.

He must have just eaten
something that had, itself, just eaten.
Finally he crossed the swamp and vanished
as into a new day, hours before us,

and we stood near the chest-high reeds,
our feet sinking, and felt
we'd been dropped suddenly from midair
back into our lives.

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