This month, I’m writing words and posting images relating to the landscape of memory. I hope to write poems most days and also share photos, quotes, and more prosaic thoughts related in some way to memory, nostalgia, longing for place, remembering and forgetting, landscape, dreamscape, landscape’s memory and memory’s landscape, the intersection of the layered historical physical world with personal memory, the frames that both landscape and memory use to contain and order our focus, the landscape of childhood, the landscape of devastation, how memories lie and tell the truth, the fragmentation of memory, how landscapes shape us and our memories, and so on. All the posts will be linked to the Introductory Page as they are posted. Thanks for visiting.
Today, a poem.
the barred owl standing on the dotted lines
between two lanes of a four-lane road,
misplaced and bewildered.
Hurt? Not obviously.
Dove down to catch something
small and warm?
No signs of blood, fur, or battered feathers.
Resting in the very wrong spot
for only a moment, poised to soar again?
I can’t know, at 50 miles an hour.
We pass each other.
Fumbling to find the headlight switch to warn
approaching traffic, I instead turn on wipers,
spooked, flustered. Tucked inside and insulated,
yet some latent peril darkens my mind,
shadow of the unrescued only owl
braving our strange and careless culture
alone, unwise to this grim pavement.
All the way home I curse the futility,
our helpless hearts, marooned and bewildered.
Maybe the owl took flight, maybe I’m haunted
not by that one but by the thousands of others
who don’t recognise the road for what it is.
I drive and grieve, howling like an
abandoned child, stranded
in the forsaken world itself,
the cruel ease of moving on,
passing by, passing by.