(SW Poem) Owl Convocation by Sara Wright

In the still autumn night

crickets chirp at

the forested edge,

the child and I stand rooted.

 

When we hear three voices cry out,

“woo whoo

whoo whooh – awhooh” –

we understand

a convocation of owls

has called us to evening prayer.

 

Straining to hear,

I open the window

wide with wonder

just like the child who is

soothed by the sound of brook waters

sliding over moss covered stone.

Our golden apple tree breathes in sweet night air.

The chorus of Great Horned Owls begins again.

 

Memory strikes the dark mother chord.

Deep within.

Fear leaps out like a roaring tiger

claws extended, transformed,

becomes embodied.

A stone.

 

Owls come to those who need them,

Send messages of Flight

to the cosmos, seeking spirals,

that may or may not exist.

No wonder the experience

of human fright seems surreal.

 

Great Horned Owls

are messengers

sent from the Great Beyond.

Tecolate, Indigenous peoples fear them.

 

Transmitting Light through Sound

They hoot to warn,

to comfort, to heal,

to eventually transform.

 

One year ago this month,

A great horned owl landed on

on a bird’s cage.

And my dove nearly lost his life…

 

What am I to make

of such a visitation

from these three Old Women

hidden

in feathered apparel?

 

The child fears death

for her beloved bear.

I cringe with fright.

for an aging body,

a wounded bear.

 

How do I deal

with knowing that

we have been invaded?

Or that death may be near?

 

I have no answers.

I will not comfort the child

with promises I cannot keep.

“Only change is constant,”

I hug her as we weep.

 

Whatever the outcome

We will search out Love

in a ground of red ash,

brown dirt, “our mothers,”

a generous hearted man,

a single apple seed.

 

I remind the child what her bones know:

(if she could remain sewn inside her skin)

That Earth has always been our Mother

that the Great Bear can bring us peace.

 

“Who whoo, who whoo, who hooh, ahooh…”

This trio of owls witness deep distress.

Responding thrice with voices they remind us

that neither bear, woman, or child

will walk this path alone.