poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Great Horned Owl

windy October drive

with 9 comments

On Monday, I went on a drive to Cambridge Narrows, to visit an antique store and a roadside market.  My goal: to buy some Nancy Drew mystery books for my collection and some pumpkins for Halloween.

It was a blustery day, windy enough to put some whitecaps on the St. John River…

The wind was especially evident along the former Trans-Canada Highway, where dry leaves have gathered in all the ditches.  Since only a few vehicles use this older highway, the leaves blow into the roadway…

The day had a luminous quality, in spite of the wind.  Most of the reds are gone from the trees, leaving the yellows of the poplars, the rusty-orange of the oaks and the gold of the tamaracks…

I had a successful day.  I bought some small pumpkins at a roadside stand…

three little pumpkins from the roadside vegetable stand (the faint eyes in the background are the amber eyes of our owl-andirons)

I also added five books to my collection of Nancy Drew mysteries…

five new mysteries for my collection… enough ghosts and glowing eyes for a spooky Halloween





wrought owl with amber eyes

perches on the hearth

hears a call in the forest

six syllables and silence


Great-horned Owl, light gathered

at the back of his eyes,

and the oscillating branch

after wings expand and beat


iron owl longs for a glimpse

of the sickle moon

the shadow of a mouse

sorting through dry leaves


in this cramped space

night woods are brought to their essence

fibre and bark, sparks and fire

luminous eyes



Copyright  Jane Tims 2012

sounds in the silence #1

with 6 comments

If niche has colour, it also has sound.  Some of those sounds are soothing, the sound of a babbling brook, or the wind in the Red Pine.  Some sounds are alarming, the cry of a child, or the squeal of brakes.  At my office, there are multiple sounds in the background – people talking, computers whirring, copiers copying, printers printing.  When there is a power outage, I am amazed at the silence of the building, and wonder how I can possibly work with all the noise.

When I can’t sleep, I turn to a trick my Mom taught me  – I count the sounds in the sleeping house.  Last week, a welcome sound was added to the usual repertoire, the three part hoot of a Great Horned Owl.  Hoo-Hoo-Hoo   Hoo-o  Hoo-o.   It was a gentle but penetrating sound and it ruled the night.  The owl hooted three times at about five minute intervals and then I fell asleep.

Not long ago I went for a walk in the grey woods and heard a sound I have heard so often before, the grating squeal of two trees rubbing together.  These trees, a Balsam Fir and a Grey Birch, have tried to grow into the same space and now they reproach one another in an endless competition.

the branches of one tree grate against the bark of the other


fear of heights


as dizzying to look up

in the forest

as down

into the abyss

the trees taper so


they lean


against fir

rubbed raw

where branches touch

and reach for one another


and sudden, wrenching sounds

a branch swings back or breaks

loosened by a squirrel

or burdened where crows complain


or where a warbler scolds

teacher teacher teacher


© Jane Tims 1996

Written by jane tims

October 2, 2011 at 9:20 am

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