Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cold Splinters pays tribute to John Haines

At one of my very favorite blogs, Cold Splinters, Jeffery Thrope recently posted a short memorial to the nature poet John Haines. I hadn't read any of his work, but the poem included in the post struck a strong chord with me. I imagine it will for any of you fellow bird lovers who ever gazed at a passing murder of crows, a nuthatch bounding up a tree trunk, or a heron patiently waiting for a fish and tried to put yourself in the avian mind.

The poem is taken from his 1966 book, Winter News, and as birds are absolutely within the purview of LITC, I felt it was well worth sharing. Enjoy.

"If The Owl Calls Again"

at dusk
from the island in the river,
and it’s not too cold,

I’ll wait for the moon
to rise,
then take wing and glide
to meet him.

We will not speak,
but hooded against the frost
soar above
the alder flats, searching
with tawny eyes.

And then we’ll sit
in the shadowy spruce
and pick the bones
of careless mice,

while the long moon drifts
toward Asia
and the river mutters
in its icy bed.

And when the morning climbs
the limbs
we’ll part without a sound,

fulfilled, floating
homeward as
the cold world awakens

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