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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Owl and Me

It was a day like any other day
(if I haven't got that wrong),
the day of my first inkling
of who and what I am.
Across the twittern *
bordering our grounds,
my tawny owl's tall tree.
I'd see it sometimes, 
mostly I'd just hear,
but worried now, the past few days:
why had my owl become
no more than half an owl?
too-wit, he'd go, too-wit, but no too-woo!
Until an uncle eased my mind
and told me how it was:
too-wit, was the male tawny
calling to his mate, too-woo,
she's answering I will!

So now I'm thinking: lonely and downcast,
perched high up perhaps, 
his favourite bough, and vainly calling her.
But this the day I mentioned at the start...
The day I came upon him/her (I could not tell):
a feathered heap, some old 
flea-bitten thing,discarded 
for the dustman to collect.
There, looking down at him or her
I knew the truth of something dad would say:
He/she was gone the way all flesh must go!
I saw so clearly then: one day that owl is me!

.......................................................................
* A narrow country lane.

16 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Such a sad way of accepting that truth. (Can you tell I am a lover of owls?).
I do however always appreciate your poems of discovery, particularly of the discoveries we make while we are young.

Daydreamertoo said...

Awww....beautiful thoughts Dave. I love the link between owl and you.
You share so much wisdom in your poetry.
Lovely.

manicddaily said...

Oh dear-- a lonely picture here but also displaying a fair amount of adolescent angst! You have such a great flow in these stories, a beautiful lyricism that also manages to be very direct and coherent. A gift. K.

Brian Miller said...

owls are so cool and what a poignant moment of realizing out own mortality as well...that is a hinge moment between adolescence and adulthood...

Tabor said...

So sad. I have a real curiosity about owls as we give them so many personalities which are not theirs. They are true killers and just fascinating. There is nothing sadder than a bird without its mate!

Sabio Lantz said...

One day the owl is you,
and so it is also
every day it coos!

[chin up, mate]
Nice story --- boy, we can tell you loved your Dad.

Ygraine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

You would have to remind me of this eventuality. (smiles)

It still makes me sad every time I see feathers or fur in a heap. I guess we do need to be reminded of the temporal nature of this life, but it still always saddens me anyway.

A thought-provoking write---again!

Ygraine said...

Aaah, so so sad.
Doesn't it make you realise we all need to make the most of life and love while it lasts?
Whilst I firmly believe that the end of life isn't really the end, it is the end of THIS ONE!!
A little deep philosophy for you here, Dave...Hehehe :D

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I agree with Brian - what a reminder of our own mortality. What a beautiful post Dave.

Mama Zen said...

Beautifully done.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Beautifully said, Dave.

Fred Rutherford said...

very interesting how the two stanzas are really different in tone. I love that. And the owl sounds are used about as perfectly as I could imagine them to be used, masterfully creative Dave. Great read.

kaykuala said...

why had my owl become no more than half an owl? too-wit, he'd go, too-wit, but no too-woo!

Chuckles! Still some humor in a sad story. The expressions were perfect and the eventuality of life's impending end struck home! Nicely Dave!

Hank

Cloudia said...

powerful final line!



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Dave King said...

The Elephant's Child
Yes, I can tell. One to another! I found it a sudden and brutal way to find out - or maybe I was told that later - and I think insome way the brutality of it enhanced that of the owl's death. (i'm not sure if that makes sense.)

Daydreamertoo
Thank you for these thoughts. They all help considerably.

manicddaily
Kind words indeed. Thank you so much for them. And yes, there was a lot of angst, and I can't recall how old I was, but well pre-teen - I think!

Brian
Yes, exactly so. Good to have that realised.

Tabor
I agree. I am fascinated by owls - it may well go back to these events - but am very conscious of the things we project on to them. Thank you.

Sabio
Thanks for saying.

Mary
Me too. I feel it even when I find a few stray ones in the garden where a cat has almost succeeded.

Ygraine
Absolutely, it does. I think it did then - or was that a later re-interpretation?
Thank you.

Optimistic Existentialist
Thank you so much for these kind words.

Mama Zen
Thank you so much.

Rachna
Good of you to say so. Thank you.

Fred
Thanks again, Fred. Really good to have your comments.

Hank
I seem to be putting more and more humour in these days, not planned, they just develop that way.

Cloudia
Really appreciate this.