Night Owl

There’s an owl that lives on my property
and he’s out there hoo-hoot-hooing
all night long and
I wish that for a night or two I
could become an owl myself and
sit in higher branches than he and
see exactly what he sees.

I wonder if his beautifully haunting call
strikes terror
in the wild bunnies and other small quarry
which also live here as
Thornton Burgess imagined or if
they dumbly continue on living,
just another sound in the night until
the near-silent rustle of feathers and
claws in the back are
the last sensations they know.

As I watch from my high perch,
would I want what he has,
a full belly and
clumps of fur
stuck to my own sharp claws?
Or would I ache for the loss of
the cute and cuddly creature
he’d just dispatched so heartlessly?

I can’t help but sense a
deep longing
for both sides.
The necessity and the
futile sadness of it all.

I would swivel my head around:
are there bigger, less vocal owls
above me in the dark somewhere?
Ready to steal down
upon my own soul
when I least expect it?

it would only be fitting
for one such as I.

For while my own eyes were
gazing out across a field at another
who didn’t belong to me,
as he snatched unsuspecting hearts with
his pen and deep passion and
unfathomable wit,
my own self was being hunted
unbeknownst to me.

I’d set myself up as
the perfect silhouette
against a starry sky.
Ripe for the taking.
And take he did. And
plundered my soul and left me
gasping for more yet somehow also
wanting to flee.

And when I turned and looked into his
luminous eyes I realized
it was He,
the one I’d been watching all along,
for he had still somehow
snatched my own soul
right out of my feathery chest,
for there it was clutched,
pumping and bleeding,
within the tight grasp of
his own curved claws there before me.

Perhaps better to not
be an owl for a night or two.
Perhaps better to
stay hidden beneath my sheets,
for, there!
His haunting call has stopped!
And I’m not sure which is
more chilling.
The call
or the very lack of one.

tara caribou | ©2020

Another one from the vaults… because there’s an owl hooting outside right now as I type this out.

53 Comments on “Night Owl

  1. i love the way you expressed this–the direction it took.
    i have a hoot owl that sometimes visits my window at night…of course, i keep hoping he’ll eat the raccoons that poop in my yard…but your thoughts on it are much more poetic & stirring.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very impressive poem! Possibly the best I’ve read from you. 🙂
    I love symbolism and the ending. Very strong and beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, I know what you mean. I still have soooo much to catch up on from last month’s absence. PS: your book is in my shopping cart and I’ll be clicking order in the next couple days. ☺️ looking forward to another ME masterpiece.


        • I hope you enjoy it. Thanks T. I will never forget that it was you that brought a sense of belonging for me and my blog. You and River were there for me long before anyone else. That always means something to me.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Wasn’t it ummm… EC who made you feel like a million bucks? I believe that’s how I found you… you were commenting over on her blog and I was intrigued by something you had said… oh gosh.. this is almost exactly two years ago!! Because I remember we were just starting to talk and it was my birthday.


  3. This is an excellent poem, Tara, full of wonderful imagery which compliments the symbolism contained within it. How often have we felt the desire to strike out into the unknown only to over analyse and then withdraw to safety? And then, full of self-doubt, shrink behind those who we deem ‘greater’ than ourselves. I really enjoyed reading (and re-reading) this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A truly original theme for a poem and what effective imagery. I imagine the animals live in terror of the owl; they give me that impression at any rate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s my impression too. But the rabbits around here know I will protect them, as best I can. So when I come outside, they all come out of hiding and graze openly. It’s quite magical.


  5. I absolutely adore this poem, partly because I love owls, but also because the direction it takes you is so very haunting. I went back and read it a couple more times and it got better every time I read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Breathtaking writing:

    “I’d set myself up as
    the perfect silhouette
    against a starry sky.”

    What I really liked, too, is how you envision yourself as the owl. It’s cool when a character lets there imagination run toward something that might not even be feasible.

    Liked by 1 person

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