The Owl

Vignette with an Owl on a Perch From Baron O.H. von Gemmingen (translator), Milton's Allegro und Penseroso (Mannheim: Schwanischen Buchhandlung, 1782) Ferdinand Kobell, German, 1740 - 1799

Credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art The Muriel and Philip Berman Gift, acquired from the John S. Phillips bequest of 1876 to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, with funds contributed by Muriel and Philip Berman, gifts (by exchange) of Lisa Norris Elkins, Bryant W. Langston, Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White, with additional funds contributed by John Howard McFadden, Jr., Thomas Skelton Harrison, and the Philip H. and A.S.W. Rosenbach Foundation, 1985


She glides,

elegant, her

wings whisper feathered hopes,

listen. . .she hoots a warning call,



fierce claws

grasping rabbit–

stunning, horrid nature!

Predator and prey in moonlit

death dance.


A Crapsey cinquain sequence for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. using synonyms for pretty and ugly.





36 thoughts on “The Owl

  1. I love this poem Merril, the Owl is a mystical creature and you have explored that magic with your words. You know I love Bird poems and often use birds in my own poetry. This is majestic, so fitting for the Owl.

  2. “stunning horrid nature.” Exactly how we feel when we watch a glorious gorgeous creature kill a smaller, lesser creature with no emotion, yet it’s what she/he is supposed to do, and needs to do to survive. Your words hit hard, just as you intended.

  3. Ah, this poem gave me chills! I love owls (of course) and hearing their hoots is like getting a call from an old friend. I’ve never seen them capture prey, although they are a reason why our cats are indoor cats.

  4. Pingback: Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 135, #SynonymsOnly – The Faery Writer

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