Looking for the Owl by Scott King

Sep 19, 2021 | Bubbler

It’s the sky above me in the branches,
the suspending, run-on branches,
holding the moment still.
There is no face, only breath and fog.

I look up. It’s almost morning.
There are no sounds except
the sounds of the city waking–
car doors, engines, a distant dog.

Two mornings I have failed
to see the owl where it perched.
It flew and I felt its silent departure,
the silhouette of its gliding escape.

When the owls come to our town
it’s winter, snow covers the ground.
White pine needles dab black ink
onto the already darkened sky.

Neck bent, I stare up into empty branches.
I go on looking for the owl.
And I know the owl is up there
somewhere big eyes open, listening down.

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Scott King was the founder and editor of Red Dragonfly Press. He was the author of several books of poetry, most recently All Graced in Green and Dragonfly Haiku (w/ Ken Tennessen), and translator of books by Greek poet Yannis Ritsos and Persian poet Fereydoun Faryad. In recent years he began writing natural history, publishing a series of volumes of field notes about dragonflies and a guidebook to the wasps and bees of Minnesota.