Who Who Who gives a hoot?
Consider for a minute that most arcane bird, the owl.
Is it not the epitome of predatory fowl?
One winter eve while heading home around 6 p.m. or so,
Along a country sideroad that was drifted in with snow,
I ran into one snowdrift two feet deeper than the rest,
And hung my truck up on it as it proved too big to breast.
Midst the blast of winter bluster that blows in off Georgian Bay,
There I sat and cursed my blunder after one long working day.
And now time was of the essence as the ruts behind were filling,
I would need to dig myself out ere the night grew still more chilling.
No help would be forthcoming if I chose to sit and loiter.
I shouldered my door open and got out to reconnoiter.
With spade in hand, I stood in snow that reached up to my hips.
I must admit, some expletives escaped my frozen lips.
In the whirling swirling eddy there, myself I did disparage,
As I knelt beside the fender and dug out my undercarriage.
But high above the snowdrift that was holding me as captor,
I was being watched suspiciously by one white feathered raptor.
A mated pair of snowy owls had claimed the hydro tower.
The male looked down upon me with a jealous kind of glower.
How dare this interloper venture into his domain?
Let his talons teach a lesson to this fool of little brain.
As I stood beside my pick up truck he launched down from his perch,
He hit me in the shoulder with a force that made me lurch.
I staggered with the blow as I exhaled a startled gasp,
And I saw my down filled parka he had shredded in his grasp.
At first I wondered who had dared to strike me without warning,
But then recalled I’d seen the pair right there that very morning.
Perhaps it was a shaktipat from some old soul sagacious,
To open up my eyes and see how I’d been so audacious.
We humans are obtuse at times. We walk about this planet,
Assuming there’s a law that says we own it carved in granite.
But Gaia’s got ideas that don’t hinge on our survival.
We need to start seeing nature as our partner, not our rival.
Unless we learn that on this earth our onus is to share it,
Our progeny may soon find out there’s nothing to inherit.
I could see a bigger picture and impacts of my choices.
I’d clearly heard that clarion beyond all human voices.
But my pick up truck I opened. It was time for me to pack up.
Once more I took the driver’s seat and managed then to back up.
The ruts I’d made before would guide me back to worlds familiar.
I shook my head and thought, my God, is any person sillier?
Trina Berlo photo: Poet Tim Armour joins carver David Bruce Johnson in an owl smooch at the Owl Show at Station on the Green Sept. 30.