No Poem…Yet

An owl perched serenely on
a telephone wire.

This is a line from what I wrote last Tuesday for Slice of Life.

I’d love to see where an entire poem about the owl would go… 🙂 These are words from Paul in a comment on the post. Since I read the comments, I’ve been thinking about where it would go…

I saw that owl so briefly. I was driving down the road. When I saw it, at first I didn’t really believe it was an owl. But the silhouette was so distinctive, I was convinced. It was near dusk, but it was still light out, so I think the sighting was somewhat unusual. I saw it turn its head- a movement which could only have been made by an owl, not another bird. Did I see enough in that short moment to write an entire poem? Was I observant enough, writerly enough? What was it I saw in the owl that led me to describe it as serene?

I think about the associations that might influence my writing about the owl. I think about the owl as a symbol of wisdom. I picture it sitting there on the wire, unperturbed by the traffic rushing by. Was the owl I saw wise?

I have some owl objects in my house, mostly things that my husband collected. A brass bell, shaped like an owl, which oddly has little plastic googly eyes glued on it. A small gourd decorated as an owl. A wood carving. These bring to mind where we were and happy times when we got them. I remember a book we both read quite long ago,I Heard The Owl Call My Name. The book links the owl and death. In the book, a young man dies. I think about how my husband had that owl bell at his bedside when he was fighting cancer and how he, too, died too young. Was the owl I saw a harbinger of death?

I wonder, if a poem takes shape, will it be just the tiny moment in which I saw the owl, or will it continue in imagination to see the owl take flight?

So, I am lost in thought, maybe getting snippets of ideas, phrases that might be right, but
no poem…yet…

This entry was posted in animals, memories, poems, reflections, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to No Poem…Yet

  1. Ramona says:

    This is a wonderful post to share with students. I loved joining you as you searched for connections/associations/snippets for your poem.

  2. arjeha says:

    I am sure the poem will come. It is in you just waiting to come into the world when the time is right.

  3. You have so many thoughts and ideas here – more racing around in your head, too, I’d bet. I know it will all come together at just the right time. I loved reading your thoughts along the way.

  4. margaretsmn says:

    So many thoughts. I think you need to do the thing that is most frightening to you: Write the poem. The poem will take you where it wants you to go. All you have to do is follow. It may lead to pain, but it may lead to hope. I hope you will explore it and find out.

  5. Linda Baie says:

    Once you start, so many connected thoughts rise up. Perhaps you should put words on paper, see where it goes. I love the idea of the flight, moving into new territory? Wonderful post to think about!

  6. tammyyoga says:

    Lovely, sounds as if I’m in your head while you’re pondering the connections. Very poetic already.

  7. Your poem is percolating in the spaces of your mind, especially since it connects to so many pieces in your life: mementos, a book…And then there was the thought, What was it I saw in the owl that led me to describe it as serene? If you come to an a hah moment that leads you to believe that the owl perched by the road is a summer serenity sweet spot please consider posting your poem and a photo for the Summer Serenity Gallery at

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