Today's poem is by Peter Didsbury

Owl and Miner

The owl alights on his shoulder.
All the day-shift she's waited patiently there,
high in the pine that grows hard-by the pit-head.
Waited blinking and dreaming,
and turning the slow escutcheon of her face.
Waited as that which would serve to draw her master
back with songs from his deep Plutonic shades.

Thus it is that he steps from the earth and is greeted.
She furls her wings, and as they set off
on their mile up the darkening lane,
towards the low-banked cloud of the clustering houses,
he starts to sing to her. I see his white smoke.
His breath on the air he casts as if he would net
the voices of ghosts in the empty elder trees.
For it is winter now, and his songs are of winter.
Wind unparcelled across the keen land.
First light snowfall turning black on hedge.
Warren and iron pool and far road-end,
where now the yellow lights begin to come on,
in twos and threes, haltingly, as if to conjure
the stars to commence their stammering nightly speech.

Copyright © 2003 Peter Didsbury All rights reserved
from Scenes From a Long Sleep
Bloodaxe Books / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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