The Sky Refutes East and West


The Sky Refutes East and West

Here, the horizon lingers.
The open eye, the mouth’s shape.

A hoop, the circle without iris.

Does the screech owl acknowledge latitude and hemisphere?

The Semitic alphabet contained no vowels, thus O
emerged as a consonant with a pupil, morphing into a dotted ring,

and later, with the Greeks, an unembellished circle (which of course

they cracked open and placed at the end). The female lays eggs

on the remnants of earlier meals lining the bottom of her den.
If you listen at night you might hear the purring of a feathered

cat (the Texas screech owl’s call varies from that of its eastern cousins).

The difference between sphere and ball.

To pronounce the Phoenician word for eye, sing the lowest note possible,
then drop two octaves. They usually carry prey back to their nests.

Screech owls are limited to the Americas.

Coincidence and error, the circumference of other.


“The Sky Refutes East and West” was first published in Prime Number Magazine, and also appears in my chapbook The Circumference of Other, included in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks (Silver Birch Press, 2015).



57 thoughts on “The Sky Refutes East and West

  1. Again, education and lyric imagery joined with skill and gentility. (And now, I must look up the Texas Screech Owl’s call, to see how it differs from our Eastern’s — can we joke about whose has the accent?!) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. i see you have made a return to your factual (if a little hyperbolic, on the subject of Phoenician phonetics) poems. a number of your recent poems have dealt very closely with a central image, or treated imagery as the central stylistic basis, rather than facts. anything galvanized this stylistic volta?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Not wanting to be pigeon-holed, I enjoy working with different techniques and styles. I’ve never really left the “factual poems,” but have posted few of the more recent ones. So I go back and forth, as the poems demand. What I post depends upon what is available (a goodly number of poems are circulating among various publishers) and my mood on any particular day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They are indeed quite different! I love all owls but have only once heard a screech owl (I assume up here they would be Eastern); the Western call is far more haunting, almost an invocation.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your wording is phenomenal, I hope that one day I can grasp the language with this technical ability and artistic flair.

    I had a seismic shift in writing style about a year ago with a book I was doing but things prevented me from finishing it off xx

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.