Tag Archives: owls

“Sic Vita” by Henry King

I awoke at a little after 3:30 this morning and got up in order to quench my thirst. As I moved through my home the cry of an owl reached my ears, which brought to mind “Sic Vita” by Henry King:

“Like to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are,
Or like the fresh spring’s gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew,
Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
Or bubbles which on water stood:
Even such is man, whose borrowed light
Is straight called in, and paid to night.

The wind blows out, the bubble dies,
The spring entombed in autumn lies,
The dew dries up, the star is shot,
The flight is past, and man forgot”.

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The Evening Falls

The evening falls.
Bird calls
Gradually fade.
The woodland glade
Resounds to the owl’s cry.

I sigh
And read on.
Another day has gone.
And now tis poetry
And me.

(The birds of the day are, to my mind, very different from the owl. As day ends, the night bird resumes his throne, and the birds of the day are silent until the morrow).

The Bird Of Ill Omen

At about 8:30 pm, on Sunday 9 September, I was strolling through All Saints churchyard (https://newauthoronline.com/2018/09/09/graves-and-poems/). As I passed through the graveyard, I heard a voice loud and clear. It was that of an owl, although I was unable to determine whether he was in the churchyard or somewhere close by.

We humans have a great capacity for attributing to living creatures (other than man) significance. On seeing a black cat we think of witches, of bad luck and the horned god himself. Likewise, on hearing the owl, as dusk was falling on an evening in early Autumn, I thought on Macbeth and death. As I did so, my poem “Owl” came to mind, https://newauthoronline.com/2017/01/28/k-morris-reading-his-poem-owl-2/.

Keats had his Nightingale

Keats had his Nightingale, which made him think of death.
I have my owl, which brings to mind Macbeth.
Tis a different name
For the same
Thing.

The morning birds sing
Replacing the owl’s cry
And I
Ponder on Keats, who is remembered still
And wonder will
My owl survive
Long after I am alive.

Visitation

I dreamed of poetry yesternight
And awoke to the delight
Of your clear, cold cry.
And I
Was left wondering why
Each visitation you make
Does my complacency shake.

I was not long awake
Yet your cold, clear cry
Will with me stay
Until my dying day.

Too Much Reading

Too much reading
My imagination feeding.
It’s a little after 1 am
When
I hear you hoot,
The night’s flute
So cold and so clear
Instilling a dull fear.

Somewhere a TV or radio burbles on,
Then owl and noise are gone.
I drink in the silence
Then sleep sets me free.

But no
It is not so
For I dream
A dream in early December,
Of what
I don’t remember,
For the individual man
And his dreams are soon forgot.