Friday, January 02, 2009

Tracks


In the black-shadowed pines
on the shore
beyond the pond
owl was sitting.
When he saw me
his eyes flared like matches
and he did his big loose hunch,
stirring up the bronze of his shoulders,

and hissed,
and seemed about to fly away.
Who knows why he didn't but instead
clamped his orange feet down
on the black limb
and stared into my face, though not my eyes--
had I been mouse or squirrel
I would have cried

for my life. And thus we stayed
for a long time. I would have given
a great deal
to have invoked some connection
eye to eye
to know what he thought of me

here in the world -- his world --
his gauzy and furzy acres,
sour, weedy, lush,
mortal.
But except for the hiss, he did not make
the least sound, simply stared

as though if he wanted to he could lift me
and carry me away --
one orange knife for each shoulder, and I,
aloft in the air, under his great wings, shouting
praise, praise, praise as I cried
for my life.

-- Mary Oliver, from Why I Wake Early: New Poems

2 comments:

Rachel K. said...

Um, whoa. Did one of you *take* that photo?

Ron Rienstra said...

nope. the credit "kuvaton.com" is in the upper left of the picture itself.

but pretty cool, huh?