ANIMAL OMENS at Home

I hear the ol’ hoot owl call in,
Now that the night is fallen.
In the evening,
Soft subconscious rises to his coo-hoo.
In the dark,
He reminds me of my magic heart.
Greets me.
In it floats.
Over the back hill, to my window:
(w)hoo, (w)hoo, (w)hoo!

Mornings ago
I am greeted by the Hawk,
Calling out as the door comes closed behind me.
I turn to find him waiting there
Across the drive.
Call, call, call!
A deep, sharp cry.
Resoundingly sure.
Great bird remains,
As I approach, calling out again.
Three times: call, call, call.
I stop beneath the tree looking up in awe,
We telepathically convene.
Meeting.
Aware of one another. A choice.
To share presence, this attention.
A final harkening: Hawk sounds.
Then, without hurrying, lifts up and leaps from the limb,
Towards a more quiet roost.
I am honored.


Flicker feathers in the woods.
Yellow-shafted.
Scattered in brown oak.
All around is winter. Nothing.

Some cat, that big yellow mother – domestic, stray or feral –
I saw her digging in amongst those trees,
On another afternoon.

Or perhaps – and more likely – the fox preyed on this bird.
Was woodpecker – wisdom of the forest – conquered by the sly trickster?
Our land hosts his den, off over the field & behind a thicket,
Grown up where a stream once run.
In winter you can see right through the entanglement of branches,
This natural privacy fence thinned.
Fox mound is of red earth (appropriately colored),
Covered in wispy golden grass.
Tracks in the snow show him come and gone.


On two different days I bear witness through north facing windows:
Fox.
Tracing the hem between meadow and lawn,
Treading through wooded way and across the far field,
To parks off and away.
This creature has a wily white beard of a tail, salt and peppered.
Ragged thing trails off so that
He seems only half solid – his orange upper body.
Living in the red soil, we are custodians of this habit, tat.
I always wonder, what of pups?

Fox returns, winding from the lawn back through field.
Leaving a scent to mark the division as he goes.
Frolicking about easily.


Mourning dove feathers scatter all about the area:
OMENS. Here.
I saw the flash of a tail retreating
This morn-ing.
Having fed from the backyard,
Doves and the like flee to safety in the sky and nearby branches.
Especially round the dried-up stream,
The thicket there is their haven,
Although fox preys from below, where his hole hides in the hill.
Fox winds home playfully – inquisitively curious – through beds where deer have slept.

Doe gather close to the home after dark,
When interior lights blind people to their presence.
Just outside. If I walk out they disperse quick and silent,
Like leaves that quake briefly on the breeze – just a shutter.
Dancing gracefully – arcing across – on air,
There is a flicker of white tail as they sail.

Cats don’t venture far,
These days, with their age.
Fox is lurking, and
My Taylor kit’s encounter presses softly in the back of our minds,
Scars left beneath his downy coat.

Up the road a neighboring fox – all flaming orange –
Runs down the stream, where it billows beneath asphalt.
A certain causeway where we would visit:
Kiddies curious to play in the wild.
The water, she draws creatures close at the end of the day,
In dusk. Near dark.
Then back up the hill, fox trots.
He moves quick from my car,
Rambling along rugged borders.

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