The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday and Cabin John Park

Snowy Owl Goddess
By Diane Wakoski

Loudell, in a loose cotton dress
          the color of delphiniums,
                    her hair, owl-feathered and quiet
as her naked toes in their pale sandals
           is a friend from this harvest part
                     of our lives,
a Minerva woman
           of herbs and salsas, hellebore, trumpet vines
                    and heirloom tomatoes. She glides
among us all,
                      as if we too might be
live plants.

          Almost in a trance from the heady
                    August evening, and perhaps from the corner
of my indolent eye, more absorbing the murmur
          than watching, I registered
                      this Snowy Owl of a woman
as she stripped an olive through her raptor’s mouth,
           then delicately flung the pit
                       into the narrow garden verge next
to her deck chair.

           Usually fastidious as a pharmacist
                     weighing crystals,
she surprised me in this seeming-act
           of littering, until I realized “oh, the pit might take root,
                     grow!” It was her planter’s instinct/
give every seed a place.

          Sipping her chardonnay and, with one hand cracking
                      some pistachios to neatly deposit
their shells in a bowl with pits from olives
           the rest of us had eaten,
                      she reminds me that even
with abundance
          there need not be waste.

                     Every day the image, planted in the hull of
twilight conversation, visits me: A Snowy Owl
              suddenly spreading her 10-foot wingspan
                          to cover this sacred earth,
its arcing motion, her arm unfolding into air
          with the olive pit
                   bowling earthward.


The autumnal equinox could not have occurred on a more beautiful day -- though we had summery temperatures over the weekend, our Monday was clear and cool, so much so that when Paul was done with work, we went to Locust Grove to walk along the creek. It was a fairly uneventful day in most regards, all work and chores, but when the weather is so glorious and I can watch squirrels and birds out the back window from my computer, that is fine with me!


I was reasonably pleased with the way the fall TV season started, foregoing the two-hour Dallas episode to watch Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, and Forever. Apart from hints of Catwoman, I was pretty ambivalent about the first; I love all the characters on the second though even without having watched SPN, it's a bit much on the apocalyptic themes for me; and I loved the third, like getting New Amsterdam back with better lead chemistry and Ioan Gruffudd!

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