Seed-fall and the moon

For the dverse prompt. Another outing for Kerfe’s lovely owl moon painting.

Seed-fall and the moon

Seeds are falling by moonlight,
the dried and the ripe. Listen
to the rattling of pods, plants,
trees, casting their children adrift
in the wind from the south
that blows and blows and blows.

Seed-fall and the flutter of finches,
fat before winter famine. Listen
to the trilling as they roost, watching
through the thinning leaves, for owl beacons,
scouring the night on silent wings,
grey shadows beneath the ripe moon.


Exhibit number one

I heard the bird-shriek,
the blackbird’s repeated cry;
it cried distress not anger or alarm.

From the window, I saw
beneath the honeysuckle,
owl wings beating, overcoming,
and the owl face that turned to mine
as if to say, this is life and death,
and you, behind your glass may watch,
but stay away.

A final tightening of the grip,
and the brown brindled wings spread,
flew to the trees,
was blackbird, a black bundle of dead feathers
or in a pre-death trance,

and I felt like a thing in a zoo
behind my glass,
living an artificial life,
an exhibit
that no one comes to stare at anymore.

The hand that shakes

A butterfly cinquain that doesn’t quite fit the remit for Colleen’s challenge as I have only used a synonym for one of the words.


The hand

that shakes the trees

is the wind’s, the voice that

calls in the night and stirs your dreams.


to its wild song woven with threads

of moon silver and the

gentle questions

of owls.

Anti-social (owl) behaviour

I thought I’d post this anecdote, just passing on information like amateur naturalists do.

When we arrived in this house, the roof beams of the porch were festooned in tin foil strips. Logically, you’d say it was to stop birds nesting there, but since the old folk who had lived here were nature lovers that didn’t seem very likely. Shortly after we moved in something large and angry ripped off  most of the tin foil and chucked it on the ground. Owl we said and thought no more of it.

For the last few mornings we have noticed that the table out on the porch has been awash in a cloudy liquid, as if someone had thrown a bucket of dirty water over it. There has been no rain lately so it wasn’t that. This morning the pool of liquid was like diluted white paint, splashed all over the table and the floor.

I finally realised that the culprit is an owl, possibly the same as the one that sits on the half-open shutters over the bedroom window at night and dumps pellets onto the window frame. Imagine something the size of a cat peeing paint from a great height and you understand why placid, nature-loving Georgette hung tin foil up in the beams to scare the buggers away!

Night owls and cold moon

Kerfe’s owl again.

owl moon s

night is cold

full of stars and owls

hard brilliance

feather softness

bound in streamers of moonlight


night is cold

windows run wet

breath steams and streams

while the owl mocks

our shivering


owl song trembles

tremolo among the dark trees

warm notes

winged grace quavering

in the chill of starlight


moon round and pale

baleful silver

silent as owl-flight

casts a chill eye

for the night is cold

Haibun for a misconception


When an owl hoots, sends out that soft, soothing soulful call bouncing back from sky and trees, falling like feathered leaves, we listen, enchanted to the words we wish we understood, a song in a language older than human speech. Owl magic, we think, soul-searcher, guide to the otherworld. More prosaically, it is actually telling other owls to feck off.


is in unconscious being

not contrivance


For the dverse prompt.


The owls are silent since the cold began,

No hunting cry that trembles in the wind,

And almost silent too leaf-rustle where

The leaping deer and timid brown hare ran.


The owls are silent but their flight I feel

In whispered wind-breath sweeping overhead,

Though flight of fancy common sense would say,

I wonder who of kith or kin is dead.

Owl 14


Take a feather

dip it in the wind

paint a frost picture

scrawl across the sky

a wild hoo loo

of hope.

Moon fills and spills


into the black

the sun returns

creeping in at morning

lingering at dusk


the feathered flowers