But the owls themselves are not hard to find, silent and on the wing, with their ear tufts flat against their heads as they fly and their huge wings alternately gliding and flapping as they maneuver through the trees. Athena's owl of wisdom and Merlin's companion, Archimedes, were screech owls surely, not this bird with the glassy gaze, restless on the bough, nothing but blood on its mind.
We are the owls of the weather chaw. We take it blistering, We take it all. Roiling boiling gusts, We're the owls with the guts. For blizzards our gizzards Dr tremble with joy. An ice storm, a gale, how we love blinding hail. We fly forward and backward, Upside down and flat. Do we flinch? Do we wail? Do we skitter or scutter? No, we yarp one more pellet And fly straight for the gutter! Do we screech? Do we scream? Do we gurgle? Take pause? Not on your life! For we are the best Of the best of the chaws!
Song after Battle: As the young men went by I was looking for him. It surprises me anew That he has gone. It is something To which I cannot be reconciled. Owls hoot at me. Owls hoot at me. That is what I hear In my life. Wolves howl at me. Wolves howl at me. That is what I hear In my life. -American Indian Songs
Humans withdraw to their homes, and surrender the night to the creatures that own it: the crickets, the owls, the snakes. A world that hasn't changed for hundreds of thousands of years wakes up, and carries on as if the daylight and the humans and the changes to the landscape have all been an illusion.
M. L. Stedman
I mean, I have done scenes with animals, with owls, with bats, with cats, with special effects, with thespians, in the freezing cold, in the pouring rain, boiling hot; I've done press with every syndication, every country; I've done interviews with people dressed up as cows - there's honestly nothing that's gonna intimidate me!
Of course, owls on the loose seemed strange to the uninitiated. One day an electrician came to work on the building's power supply, when, seemingly out of nowhere, an owl flew around a corner right at him. The poor guy let out an unearthly scream and hit the floor, covering his head and yelling in Spanish.
Concord is just as idiotic as ever in relation to the spirits and their knockings. Most people here believe in a spiritual world ... in spirits which the very bullfrogs in our meadows would blackball. Their evil genius is seeing how low it can degrade them. The hooting of owls, the croaking of frogs, is celestial wisdom in comparison.
Henry David Thoreau
Men talk glibly enough about moonshine, as if they knew its qualities very well, and despised them; as owls might talk of sunshine,--none of your sunshine!--but this word commonly means merely something which they do not understand,--which they are abed and asleep to, however much it may be worth their while to be up and awake to it.
Henry David Thoreau
What we want most is to be held...and told..that everything (everything is a funny thing, is baby milk and papa's eyes, is roaring logs on a cold morning, is hoot owls and the boy who makes you cry after school, is mama's long hair, is being afraid and twisted faces on the bedroom wall)...is going to be alright.
I can't blame you! You really have no idea, how important you are How elegant you look and how sweet is your smile Everyone can smell you, from thousands kilometers away They can feel like the hungry wolves How delicious you are And they can see you from far planets Mars and Jupiter Like the owls with big eyes They know you are not human Because no one have seen a creature With such beauty and prettiness I haven't seen angels But I am sure they are not as beautiful as you are Even beauty by nature has its limits But I have to confess there is no limit in yours.
Midnight is another planet! When the clock strikes twelve and if you are asleep, wake up, friend, and discover the beauties of this new planet: Discover the silence; discover the tranquillity; speak to the owls, speak to the moon; greet the hedgehogs and disappear in the midst of the mists!
Mehmet Murat Ildan
I knew by the signs it would be a hard winter. The hollies bore a heavy crop of berries and birds stripped them bare. Crows quarreled in reaped fields and owls cried in the mountains, mournful as widows. Fur and moss grew thicker than usual. Cold rains came, driven sideways through the trees by north winds, and snows followed.
Come to us and quackle and quank. Relieve us of our stirrings With your fangs so sharp and bright Take this blood that's always purring. Through our hollow bones it flows To each feather and downy fluff. Quell the terrible, horrid urge that so often prinkles us, Still our dreams, make slow our thoughts Let tranquillity flood our veins. Come to us and drink your fill So we might end our pains. - The Owls at St. Aegolius calling to the bats
Then what shall I write? I can't just write that this happened then this happened then this happened to boring infinitum. I'll let my journal grow just like the mind does, just like a tree or beast does, just like life does. Why should a book tell a tale in a dull straight line? Words should wander and meander. They should fly like owls and flicker like bats and slip like cats. They should murmur and scream and dance and sing.
I like owls. I admire their intransigent spirit. I have respected them deeply ever since I met a baby owl in a wood, when it fell over dead, apparently from sheer temper, because I dared to approach it. It defied me first, and then died. I have never forgotten the horror and shame I experienced when that soft fluffy thing (towards which I had nothing but the most humanitarian motives) fell dead from rage at my feet.
It drains the bars and cafes after hours, concentrates the wicked and the guilty along its chipped Formica counter, and thrums with the gossip of criminals, policemen, shtarkers,and schlemiels, whores and night owls ... three or four floaters, solitaries, and drunks between benders lean against the sparkly resin counter, sucking the tea from their shtekelehs and working the calulations of their next big mistake.
It drains the bars and cafes after hours, concentrates the wicked and the guilty along its chipped Formica counter, and thrums with the gossip of criminals, policemen, shtarkers, and schlemiels, whores and night owls... three or four floaters, solitaries, and drunks between benders lean against the sparkly resin counter, sucking the tea from their shtekelehs and working the calulations of their next big mistake.
Has joy any survival value in the operations of evolution? I suspect that it does; I suspect that the morose and fearful are doomed to quick extinction. Where there is no joy there can be no courage; and without courage all other virtues are useless. Therefore the frogs, the toads, keep on singing even though we know, if they don't, that the sound of their uproar must surely be luring all the snakes and ringtail cats and kit foxes and coyotes and great horned owls toward the scene of their happiness.
He could understand that the creatures, the fish and the owls, should feed and frolic at moon-rise, at moon-down and at south-moon-over, for these were all plain marks to go by, direct and visible. He marvelled, padding on bare feet past the slat-fence of the clearing, that the moon was so strong that when it lay the other side of the earth, the creatures felt it and stirred by the hour it struck. The moon was far away, unseen, and it had power to move them.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Woodpeckers are natural engineers whose abandoned nest and roost cavities facilitate a great diversity of life, including birds, mammals, invertebrates, and many fungi,moss, and lichens. Without woodpeckers, birds such as chickadees and tits, swallows ans martins, bluebirds, some flycatchers, nuthatches, wood ducks, hooded mergansers, and small owls (screech, saw-whet, and pygmy) would be homeless.
ENTER THIS DESERTED HOUSE But please walk softly as you do. Frogs dwell here and crickets too. Ain't no ceiling, only blue Jays dwell here and sunbeams too. Floors are flowers - take a few. Ferns grow here and daisies too. Whoosh, swoosh - too-whit, too-woo, Bats dwell here and hoot owls too. Ha-ha-ha, hee-hee, hoo-hoooo, Gnomes dwell here and goblins too. And my child, I thought you knew I dwell here... and so do you.
Hail to St. Aegolius Our Alma Mater. Hail, our song we raise in praise of thee Long in the memory of every loyal owl Thy splendid banner emblazoned be. Now to thy golden talons Homage we're bringing. Guiding symbol of our hopes and fears Hark to the cries of eternal praises ringing Long may we triumph in the coming years. - The Owls of St. Aegolius
When the Sun sets, shadows, that shew'd at Noon But small, appear most long and terrible; So, when we think Fate hovers o'er our Heads, Our apprehensions shoot beyond all bounds, Owls, Ravens, Crickets seem the watch of death, Nature's worst Vermine scare her God-like Sons. Ecchoes the very leavings of a Voice, Grow babling Ghosts, and call us to our Graves: Each Mole-hill thought swells to a huge Olympus, While we fantastick Dreamers heave and puff, And sweat with an Imagination's weight...
When the cold comes to New England it arrives in sheets of sleet and ice. In December, the wind wraps itself around bare trees and twists in between husbands and wives asleep in their beds. It shakes the shingles from the roofs and sifts through cracks in the plaster. The only green things left are the holly bushes and the old boxwood hedges in the village, and these are often painted white with snow. Chipmunks and weasels come to nest in basements and barns; owls find their way into attics. At night, the dark is blue and bluer still, as sapphire of night.
When the cold comes to New England it arrives in sheets of sleet and ice. In December, the wind wraps itself around bare trees and twists in between husbands and wives asleep in their beds. It shakes the shingles from the roofs and sifts through cracks in the plaster. The only green things left are the holly bushes and the old boxwood hedges in the village, and these are often painted white with snow. Chipmunks and weasels come to nest in basements and barns; owls find their way into attics. At night,the dark is blue and bluer still, as sapphire of night.
Give me a hot coal glowing bright red, Give me an ember sizzling with heat, These are the jewels made from my beak. We fly between the flames and never get singed We plunge through the smoke and never cringe. The secrets of fire, its strange winds, its rages, We know it all as it rampages Through forests, through canyons, Up hillsides and down. We track it. We'll find it. Take coals by the pound. We'll yarp in the heart of the hottest flame Then bring back its coals an make them tame. For we are the colliers brave and beyond all We are the owls of the colliering chaw!
Silence THERE is a silence where hath been no sound, There is a silence where no sound may be, In the cold grave-under the deep, deep sea, Or in wide desert where no life is found, Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound; No voice is hush'd-no life treads silently, But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free, That never spoke, over the idle ground: But in green ruins, in the desolate walls Of antique palaces, where Man hath been, Though the dun fox or wild hye¦na calls, And owls, that flit continually between, Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan- There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.
Me dad planted that tree, ' she said absently, pointing out through the old cracked window. The great beech filled at least half the sky and shook shadows all over the house. Its roots clutched the slope like a giant hand, holding the hill in place. Its trunk writhed with power, threw off veils of green dust, rose towering into the air, branched into a thousand shaded alleys, became a city for owls and squirrels. I had thought such trees to be as old as the earth, I never dreamed that a man could make them. Yet it was Granny Trill's dad who had planted this tree, had thrust in the seed with his finger. How old must he have been to leave such a mark? Think of Granny's age, and add his on top, and you were back at the beginning of the world.
I cannot now recall exactly what creatures I saw on that visit to the Antwerp Nocturama, but there were probably bats and jerboas from Egypt and the Gobi Desert, native European hedgehogs and owls, Australian opossums, pine martens, dormice, and lemurs, leaping from branch to branch, darting back and forth over the grayish-yellow sandy ground, or disappearing into a bamboo thicket. The only animal which has remained lingering in my memory is the raccoon. I watched it for a long time as it sat beside a little stream with a serious expression on its face, washing the same piece of apple over and over again, as if it hoped that all this washing, which went far beyond any reasonable thoroughness, would help it to escape the unreal world in which it had arrived, so to speak, through no fault of its own. Otherwise, all I remember of the denizens of the Nocturama is that several of them had strikingly large eyes, and the fixed, inquiring gaze found in certain painters and philosophers who seek to penetrate the darkness which surrounds us purely by means of looking and thinking.
It was a lone tree burning on the desert. A heraldic tree that the passing storm had left afire. The solitary pilgrim drawn up before it had traveled far to be here and he knelt in the hot sand and held his numbed hands out while all about in that circle attended companies of lesser auxiliaries routed forth into the inordinate day, small owls that crouched silently and stood from foot to foot and tarantulas and solpugas and vinegarroons and the vicious mygale spiders and beaded lizards with mouths black as a chowdog's, deadly to man, and the little desert basilisks that jet blood from their eyes and the small sandvipers like seemly gods, silent and the same, in Jeda, in Babylon. A constellation of ignited eyes that edged the ring of light all bound in a precarious truce before this torch whose brightness had set back the stars in their sockets.
There are people like Senhor Jose everywhere, who fill their time, or what they believe to be their spare time, by collecting stamps, coins, medals, vases, postcards, matchboxes, books, clocks, sport shirts, autographs, stones, clay figurines, empty beverage cans, little angels, cacti, opera programmes, lighters, pens, owls, music boxes, bottles, bonsai trees, paintings, mugs, pipes, glass obelisks, ceramic ducks, old toys, carnival masks, and they probably do so out of something that we might call metaphysical angst, perhaps because they cannot bear the idea of chaos being the one ruler of the universe, which is why, using their limited powers and with no divine help, they attempt to impose some order on the world, and for a short while they manage it, but only as long as they are there to defend their collection, because when the day comes when it must be dispersed, and that day always comes, either with their death or when the collector grows weary, everything goes back to its beginnings, everything returns to chaos.
to my surprise I began to know what The Language was about, not just the part we were singing now but the whole poem. It began with the praise and joy in all creation, copying the voice of the wind and the sea. It described sun and moon, stars and clouds, birth and death, winter and spring, the essence of fish, bird, animal, and man. It spoke in what seemed to be the language of each creature... It spoke of well, spring, and stream, of the seed that comes from the loins of a male creature and of the embryo that grows in the womb of the female. It pictured the dry seed deep in the dark earth, feeling the rain and the warmth seeping down to it. It sang of the green shoot and of the tawny heads of harvest grain standing out in the field under the great moon. It described the chrysalis that turns into a golden butterfly, the eggs that break to let out the fluffy bird life within, the birth pangs of woman and of beast. It went on to speak of the dark ferocity of the creatures that pounce upon their prey and plunge their teeth into it-it spoke in the muffled voice of bear and wolf-it sang the song of the great hawks and eagles and owls until their wild faces seemed to be staring into mine, and I knew myself as wild as they. It sang the minor chords of pain and sickness, of injury and old age; for a few moments I felt I was an old woman with age heavy upon me.
I wanted to write an adventure story, not, it's true, I really did. I shall have failed, that's all. Adventures bore me. I have no idea how to talk about countries, how to make people wish they had been there. I am not a good travelling salesman. Countries? Where are they , whatever became of them. When I was twelve I dreamed of Hongkong. That tedious, commonplace little provincial town! Shops sprouting from every nook and cranny! The Chinese junks pictured on the lids of chocolate boxes used to fascinate me. Junks: sort of chopped-off barges, where the housewives do all their cooking and washing on deck. They even have television. As for the Niagara Falls: water, nothing but water! A dam is more interesting; at least one can occasionally see a big crack at its base, and hope for some excitement. When one travels, one sees nothing but hotels. Squalid rooms, with iron bedsteads, and a picture of some kind hanging on the wall from a rusty nail, a coloured print of London Bridge or the Eiffel Tower. One also sees trains, lots of trains, and airports that look like restaurants, and restaurants that look like morgues. All the ports in the world are hemmed in by oil slicks and shabby customs buildings. In the streets of the towns, people keep to the sidewalks, cars stop at red lights. If only one occasionally arrived in a country where women are the colour of steel and men wear owls on their heads. But no, they are sensible, they all have black ties, partings to one side, brassie¨res and stiletto heels. In all the restaurants, when one has finished eating one calls over the individual who has been prowling among the tables, and pays him with a promissory note. There are cigarettes everywhere! There are airplanes and automobiles everywhere.
Jean-Marie G. Le Clezio
Little Red-Cap At childhood's end, the houses petered out into playing fields, the factory, allotments kept, like mistresses, by kneeling married men, the silent railway line, the hermit's caravan, till you came at last to the edge of the woods. It was there that I first clapped eyes on the wolf. He stood in a clearing, reading his verse out loud in his wolfy drawl, a paperback in his hairy paw, red wine staining his bearded jaw. What big ears he had! What big eyes he had! What teeth! In the interval, I made quite sure he spotted me, sweet sixteen, never been, babe, waif, and bought me a drink, my first. You might ask why. Here's why. Poetry. The wolf, I knew, would lead me deep into the woods, away from home, to a dark tangled thorny place lit by the eyes of owls. I crawled in his wake, my stockings ripped to shreds, scraps of red from my blazer snagged on twig and branch, murder clues. I lost both shoes but got there, wolf's lair, better beware. Lesson one that night, breath of the wolf in my ear, was the love poem. I clung till dawn to his thrashing fur, for what little girl doesn't dearly love a wolf? Then I slid from between his heavy matted paws and went in search of a living bird - white dove - which flew, straight, from my hands to his hope mouth. One bite, dead. How nice, breakfast in bed, he said, licking his chops. As soon as he slept, I crept to the back of the lair, where a whole wall was crimson, gold, aglow with books. Words, words were truly alive on the tongue, in the head, warm, beating, frantic, winged; music and blood. But then I was young - and it took ten years in the woods to tell that a mushroom stoppers the mouth of a buried corpse, that birds are the uttered thought of trees, that a greying wolf howls the same old song at the moon, year in, year out, season after season, same rhyme, same reason. I took an axe to a willow to see how it wept. I took an axe to a salmon to see how it leapt. I took an axe to the wolf as he slept, one chop, scrotum to throat, and saw the glistening, virgin white of my grandmother's bones. I filled his old belly with stones. I stitched him up. Out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing, all alone.
Carol Ann Duffy