Tawny Owl

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse25 Aug 2013

She sits in a spindly lane-side tree,

Plump and delightfully pompous, 

Chest feathers aristocratically ruffled.

Her brown mottled plumage

Is as neat and cuddly as a cat,

And her doze-narrowed eyes

Shine blackly into the spring twilight; 

I dare not breathe...

A rude aggressive chatter

Of a chaffinch breaks the spell.

Startled fully awake, the owl’s eyes

Open to a penetrating expression

Of human righteous outrage: 

A duchess with a pinched bottom,

She gathers up her dignity like a shawl

And flies silently into the coming night.