Inspiration - The Owl

Source

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

— Henry David Thoreau

Dear Reader,

What does it mean to inspire? To be inspired?

It seems to me the creative process is equal parts perspiration and inspiration.

I asked a poet friend about her Muse. How does one find one's Muse? What is it exactly?

She said "It's just who you are".

I guess that narrows it down a bit.

I am a naturalist, I find inspiration in nature.

I am also extremely sensitive, as if I have no filters, so whatever touches me, touches me deeply. Sometimes this makes good poetry, other times not so much.

It is easy to become over-loaded with too much information and to lose focus. For me poetry is all about focus, about clarity, and about truthfulness.



"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

— Henry David Thoreau

The Owl

I find the owl on the lawn

along the shady edge of the drive

where the crows lay down

after a bath

with their wings outstretched

and their breasts flattened

to the ground

to absorb the coolness.

Looking like a fleet of small black

aeroplanes landed there in unison.


I find the owl laying in a tiny heap on the grass,

unruffled, face up, eyes open,

so life-like.

No heartbeat when I pick it up.

I carry him back to the garden where I am working,

and place his tiny corpse deep in the shade

under an old gnarled Rhododendron shrub.


That was two summers ago.

This summer, so hot! While stretching out a soaker hose under the old Rhodo

I found the owl's bones, clean, white, and undisturbed.

I collected these remains (I don't know why)

They weighed almost nothing,

but I could feel some kind of energy

from them when I held them in my hand.


The Owl notes August 16 2014


The Owl finding,

The Crows shade bathing,

the bird bath,

an oasis,

a refuge.


Listening to

CBC Radio,

Saturday morning,

stories about miracles,

about healing.


Today is cooler

(cloudy)

than it's been

in the past

couple of months.

Last night was

clear,

moon and stars,

a chill in the air,

more darkness,

fall approaching.


Worrying

over

every little thing.

Weary,

worn,

resigned.


A deep fear

of losing face.


aged

raged

caged

ragged

bagged

gagged

inconsolable.


So,

a writer friend

passes me the

baton,

to inspire me

to inspire you...

I catch it

it is light.


It is light

like the

wing bone

of a small

bird,

perfectly balanced

for flight.


What to do

with this

lightness?

This gift?


I hold it

for a

moment.


I feel the lightness

and the balance.

I feel the flight.


There is a sense

of impossible

tranquility,

my spirit

lifted

suddenly,

as this

lightness

carries me.




© 2014 snakeslane

32 comments

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello snakeslane, I see that I could not have made a better choice for inspiration. This is so graceful and beautiful. I marvel at your adroit pen and ken eyes. Bravo, young lady.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Dear Mike, You are too kind. Thank you so much for your generous invitation. I actually found some time today for this because I woke up with a horrible cold and had to take the day off work (tomorrow off too). Interesting timing.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Up and across. Your sensitivity does guide your wording and make the thought of something dead or dying take a higher meaning.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Really beautiful words of inspiration here. You are a gifted poet! It was a pleasure reading this tonight.

Up ++++ and away


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Oh snakeslane,

Waking up to your gifts of poetry, sensitive expression and the soulful sounds of Seth Avett is a truly beautiful way to start my day.

Mr. Friedman knew precisely who to pass the baton of INSPIRATION to... you have done a stellar job, my lovely friend.

Always a pleasure when you grace us with your unique voice.

Voted UP and UABI and sharing. Love, Maria


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

It's beautiful the way you capture such vivid scenes in your lovely poems. I could envision the fleet of aeroplanes formed by the crows sunning after their bath. The little owl's remains brought tears and tenderness and memories of an owl who, long ago, flew into the grill of my car. We scooped him up, put him in an open box and waited. It took him only a day to regain his bearings, then, off he flew from our balcony ledge with one backward glance. My heart soared with his flight.

I'd never heard of this singer and truly enjoyed listening to the song. Nicely done on this challenge, Snakeslane.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

so sorry you ended up with a cold. the price of producing beauty i guess...get well soon


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Hi Jackie from the Beautiful South, thank you again for support and encouragement!


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Faith, Thank you so much!


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Hey Mar, So good to see You, the reigning Queen of Inspiration herself, thank you for your good works and always positive feedback.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Hello Ms Cole, Your owl story is exciting, I love the happy ending. Thank you for the generous comments. I am so fortunate to be gardening in a really magical location. Inspiration just flows there. This poem feels like a sketch to me. I can envision a whole suite of poems coming out of this experience which is ongoing, year after year, and indeed, many of them have already been written. The crows are endlessly entertaining. They are cheeky birds with a flair for imitating whatever is going on around them. I was surprised to see them all lined up on the ground like that. And yes, Avett Brothers Rock!


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you mckbbks, a summer cold is the worst, brought on by running between air conditioned rooms (my regular day job) and the afternoon heat in the gardens (my after work job). Just took a mega dose of Vitamin C, which should help (I hope).


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Your lines are definitely inspired. They give us thoughts in which we can find deep reflection. Who knew that could happen by recording the death and memory of an owl? Go Muse!


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Hello MsDora! Your lovely comment is so much appreciated. Thank you!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Oh, how I've missed you, snakes. You are so - you! Your truth is like a shining beacon. You don't have to plan it. It just IS. Your friend's definition of what is a muse is IT.

One of your thoughts caught my heart and mind: ". . .There is a sense

of impossible

tranquility, . . "

This is totally inspiring in every way. That song, too. Thank you for directing me here as comfort for my loss of my Carla, - granddaughter. Big hugs and love.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

Loved the touching scene and poem about the poor little owl.

Thanks for sharing that.

Voted up, awesome and beautiful.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Aww, there you are Nellieanna, thank you for stopping by, I am beyond ecstatic to see you, and know you felt some comfort. And of course I am flattered by your singing my praises! Gosh, gee, wow...But worried about you and family, so hard to accept your dear granddaughter is gone, I am so sorry, for you and her family. Thanks Nellieanna for comments, and kind words, love, Verlie


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you DMsLizzy, your comment and vote is much appreciated!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

The owl's bones perhaps carry their energy as a gift to you. I have been thinking about this same issue lately--your Owl notes certainly hint at that --


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

I'm not good with gifts, unfortunately, but certainly I do feel blessed.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Hi snakeslane. I read your story in the Creative Writing Study then saw a comment from you on one of billybuc's hubs. Just thought I'd check your writing and came across this wonderful poem about an owl.

Your poetry is very unique and I enjoyed reading this. I look forward to checking out more of your hubs. Voted up.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you Jodah, how very nice to get your note. Congratulations on the Poet award, wow, you must be grinning from ear to ear.... :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Yes still grinning...a real ego boost, which needed it.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Ah yes, the old ego boost, works wonders...Of course you come highly recommended (Nellieanna), but I'm just getting back to Hub Pages after months (literally) of computer crashing, not fun...


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

I don't know how I'd cope with months of computer crashing...anyway glad you are back. Nellieanna is a dear lady.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

And absolutely brilliant, she is so.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Wow! Snakeslane, you do not know how this touched me and why. I don't see many owls, but I do hear them sometimes at night. I feel like I called them to come near my home in flight.

I love your poems., I also love stand by me.

Blessing to you


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Shyron, thank you! The song (just looked it up) was written by Charles Albert Tindley, Methodist minister in 1905, I love the way Seth Avett sings it too.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 2 years ago

Inspiration is found in simply being alive, our Muses will find us and when they do, the words will be given us, whether we are surveying life or death, the beauty of it all unfolds from our pen. The stark contrast of the raven and the owl is their flight, the nocturnal view of the owl, the cautious and nevermore raven will peck and caw, likely they could have cleaned the owl of it's life and left it alabaster ready for your collection? Death is simply a moving to another plateau, I would like to think that owl was given a very respected and wise place on the other side of its life here. Well done poet, I felt each word.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you Vincent (if I may). It is a mystery to me where the poetry comes from, or why we bother with it at all. Like dreams we see and then forget, and once in awhile the ideas surface again, or we dwell on something that happens and realize there is a story there. It's all so fleeting, but I know that reading is one of the most important things in my life, essential, like breathing and eating and sleeping, so I respect the craft.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Wow, snakeslane, I came read this and found it sounding familiar. As I read it, I realized I have read it before.

And I found it more awesome than before, and now I am inspired to write some more.

I am glad your computer is better.

Mine took a nose dive a couple of months ago.

Blessings! Voted UP and UABI and sharing.

Shyron


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada Author

Shyron, thank you for coming back, and leaving such a heart warming comment. I'm looking forward to reading more of your Hubs. Yes, the computer is back on track, but I feel like I lost a lot of ground. Frustrating...Blessings right back at ya!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working