Self-Portrait as Hoot Owl


Self-Portrait as Hoot Owl

Who do you think I am, what will
grace serve, where in this moonless
void might you lie, can we echo
through the hours and never attach
ourselves to one discernable tree?
Is query my only song? Is sadness
yours? Wrapped around these
priceless silhouettes, our voices
merge downhill near the creek’s
rustle, below the seeping clouds
and stars yet somehow above the
night and tomorrow’s slow ascent
into more questions, more doubt.


* * *

“Self-Portrait as Hoot Owl” first appeared in Issue 125 of Right Hand PointingThank you to editors Dale Wisely, Laura M. Kaminski, F. John Sharp and José Angel Araguz for taking this piece.


9 thoughts on “Self-Portrait as Hoot Owl

  1. Perfect timing for this poem – I’m up early this morning in prep for heater repairman (quit working on last day of 2020 – I’m trying to not see any metaphor there) – up early means out early with the dog – greeted by lots of hooting. After several days of cold rain (5+ inches!) the sky cleared for last night’s fireworks and both moon and owl seemed to be gloating that “all that” was now behind us. I embrace that metaphor for 2021’s first encounter. Here we all go stepping into more doubt, more questions. Who? Who? (Who was that shooting such noise all evening so close to my house?! Do I even want to know which neighbor made my dog so miserable for 4 hours straight?)
    Could my owl have seen your post? Hooting for me to turn to poetry to start 2021 off right?
    Thanks for selecting this one for today!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I hope your heater is working now. The sump pump in our crawlspace has failed. The alarm has been blaring since 1:30 this morning. The repair person is scheduled to appear by 2:00 p.m. Sigh. Not a sign of things to come, I hope. Surely the owls are hooting for more poetry!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my – hope you have more tranquil evenings for the rest of 2021! Maybe this year is setting us up to be grateful for things we take for granted?
        Our heater is working again but it’s 1 of 3 coincidental “heat” failures occurring within a 12-hr span – other two still pending (heater in Airstream + most-used burner on kitchen stove). The timing and related nature of these failures is enough to give one pause! And hoot a bit!


        • Three heat failures! Ick. We suffered another water problem here — for some reason, the water didn’t shut off when I attempted to replace the fridge’s water filter. Water kept spurting, and made quite a mess. We pulled out the fridge and turned off the water. Sigh. But the filter’s been replaced. Now, if only the darned plumber would get here…


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