Could this be?

Rapid fire posting here while I have an internet connection. For the dverse prompt.

 

Could this ever have been me,

the crouching, curled about myself, in the never-quite-warm?

Did I ever sniff night air and curl deeper into the ground,

the cave, the nest, the hollow tree, finding comfort in the insect-busy earth?

Beyond, in the twitching, shifting half-light, half-shadow, is life,

for those who never shake the touch of death from fur or feather.

What do I ever feel but faded, sifted echoes of the life the sun gives?

I tread and and I tramp with shop-bought boots, the frosty grass.

And though I peer into the branches overhead,

where the watchful hawk sits and the mist hangs in tatters,

no cries fall that I can hear,

no lesson learned from the leafless limbs.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

28 thoughts on “Could this be?”

    1. I’m pleased you do. I wasn’t going to do this prompt because I didn’t really see what it was driving at, there being such a huge gulf between ‘us’ and ‘them’. Then I thought I may as well say that in a poem.

      1. It’s not just the modern know-how that defeats most of us, it’s the old-fashioned house building, fire-building, food preparing etc that would just kill most of us with the physical effort!

    1. Thank you 🙂 I feel we are so remote from animal life, I never really see connections. If I do, like when the cat destroys something because nobody’s getting the biscuits out, it has to be purely accidental 🙂

    1. Thanks Bjorn. You’re on the right lines there. It’s the idea of being outside the world of the hawk and the things that live in holes in the ground. Ever since we stopped living in caves, I suppose.

  1. I feel like hibernating deep down for warmth Jane ~ But yes, I don’t think we can ever know what if feels like underneath the fur or feather ~

    I specially like this part:
    Beyond, in the twitching, shifting half-light, half-shadow, is life,

    for those who never shake the touch of death from fur or feather.

  2. As you can see, Jane, I’ve been catching up and I’ve got to you, finally! I love that your title is a question and that you continue to question in the body of the poem. I like the chill I get from the line:
    ‘the crouching, curled about myself, in the never-quite-warm’
    and the way the speaker wonders about hibernating. Some humans still do. But at the same time we have grown so far apart, which you express so eloquently in the lines:
    ‘Beyond, in the twitching, shifting half-light, half-shadow, is life,
    for those who never shake the touch of death from fur or feather’.
    I love the tenuous connection between the speaker and the watchful hawk in that one moment when the mist hangs in tatters.

    1. I’m so pleased you get this poem, Kim. We’ve just moved into this old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, with absolutely no mod cons at all. The wildlife, shrews, fieldmice, dormice etc get in under the doors or chew through the masonry. The only heating is an open fire in the bedroom and a tiny woodburner in the study. The windows look out onto trees and fields and the larger wildlife that can’t get in under the doors. There is no noise except a distant tractor sometimes, and the birds and foxes. I feel as though the ‘real’ world is so close, yet, like the hawk on the wire, just out of touch.

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