Friday, January 24, 2014
Barred Owl (Audubon)
Late last night, the owl settled on our shepherd's hook
Outside my bedroom window. A feeder hangs there --
Mice and chipmunks burrow below and filch the seed.
I watched him for an hour. His head bent down to look
For prey, three times he lifted his pale face to stare
At me, but I was nothing compared to his need.
His head pivoted three hundred sixty degrees,
Slowly surveying the snow-covered yard and trees.
Otherwise, he was still; his art was vigilance,
Like a sailor in a crow's nest looking for land.
Then he crouched and bobbed and dropped, his patience
Goaded. A moment later his great wings fanned
And lifted him to a limb where he ripped apart
A mouse and devoured its still trembling heart.
Wind God and Thunder God (Tawaraya Sotatsu)
As children we feared the thunder,
Though the wind willed us to wonder.
We were such small receptacles,
Anything that caused emotions
To overflow were spectacles,
Like typhoon tormented oceans.
A clap of thunder convinced me
Our house would collapse instantly,
But I could lean into strong gales
And laugh, arms outstretched like taut sails.
The gods don't always indulge us,
Like these fiercely smiling fellows.
They are about their own business --
The boom of death and hell's bellows.