The Flammulated Owl

November 27, 2016


Some say the world is made of circles.
Others say lines. Consider:

the winter lawn with its broken leaves
and the mower stored in the shed,

the line I trace from the moon to Venus,
true as the line from birth to death,

or my raised arms forming a circle
able to contain the whole sun.

I asked the squirrel scooting on a wire.
He stared with round eyes.

I asked a salmon returned from the sea
but the salmon was red and dying.

Ice melted off roofs.
Blue opened

and the mountain came out to play.
From this end of the valley,

I rubbed my metaphorical cheek
against new snow.

Remember your grandmother powdered and soft?
The distant slopes felt like that

but with sharp rocks at the top.
My nana dwelt on the davenport and ruled the world.

I was the obedient grandchild of terror. I believe
in magic.

A nocturnal owl about seven inches tall.
Deep hoot from the top of a pine tree.

Facial disc flamed with chestnut or rust.
Moon’s disk pricked by needles.

Bare nest without feathers or twigs.
This quilt I invent out of dark.

How I glide toward night over soft duff,
an owl weighing just two ounces,

feeding past dusk on crickets and moths,
moth dust stuck to my beak.

Come owl dawn, I’ll burrow into this pine,
my human tongue already on fire.

Penelope Schott

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: