The Owl


Caspar David Friedrich, “Owl on a Tree,” [Public domain] Wikipedia Commons

Gloaming—a hoot

and then she soars


silently, in pursuit

of prey, explores


the land–still unspoiled—

glides with serrated wings


over territory still unsoiled

by the sighs and zings


of manmade things

seeking oil or gold.


But tonight–

only silent wings in flight.


This is for dVerse where Lillian has asked us to write a quadrille using some form of the word “spoil.” She mentions movies, so I’ll say—and this is not a spoiler—that there is a prospector and an owl in one of the “chapters” in the movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. 



33 thoughts on “The Owl

  1. the land still unspoiled. This reminds me of the owl flying at night, after the snow has ceased to all and before humanity has scarred it with footprints, tractor treads, or plows. Beautiful description here.

  2. I love owls. We have barred owls around our neighborhood. Sometimes they really make a ruckus. They sound like monkeys then, getting a wild party together. Years ago I heard the hoot of a Great Horned Owl while I was home. Curious, I grabbed a pair of binoculars and started searching the trees in the backyard. I almost peed myself when I turned and found a Great Horned staring back at me, his image filling the lens 😉 Happy memory that one!

    • That is so cool about the owl parties! I know we must have owls here, but I don’t see or hear them. I saw one once on my birthday though. It was in a tree looking at me as I went to pull the blinds down.

      • Several years ago my husband had downloaded a catalog of bird sounds, including owls. One night we sat on the back porch and played the hoots from a barred owl, just curious about what might happen. An owl responded to the hoots. We never saw it (it was night) but it got close enough to our porch that we decided to let sleeping owls lie and turned off the sounds 😉 Maybe you all could try that, see if you could attract them.

  3. Excellent image, the use of soft sounds to evoke… wait for it…
    Silent movement. deadly and beautiful. We’ve had a little love affair with owls at dVerse lately. Perhaps Athena watches with us 🦉

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