Owls, After the Storm

April 14, 2017

Tags: owls, Poetry Friday, National Poetry Month

Nightly Owl Check

We heard their gentle hoots before we found
the great horned silhouettes in their new tree,
one doting parent tearing prey apart
to feed their fluffy feather duster chick.

Too young to fly, it must have fallen when
the storm hit their dilapidated nest,
now draped like curtains down the old tree’s trunk.

The crows cried out their warnings all day long.
They must have seen the flapping owlet climb.
We missed it, but all’s well. We head back home.

JoAnn Early Macken

Happy National Poetry Month! Happy Poetry Friday! The roundup is at Dori Reads. Enjoy!


  1. April 14, 2017 12:25 PM EDT
    Wonderful poem and photos. Love spotting owls in our back yard and hearing their hoots :). "Feather duster chick" made me smile.
    - jama
  2. April 14, 2017 1:59 PM EDT
    Thank you, Jama! My husband finds an owl nest almost every year. The photo is from last year's family.
    - JoAnn Early Macken
  3. April 14, 2017 4:08 PM EDT
    Appreciations for creating & sharing this vivid life lesson in poem form about that fallen owlet who is like a "feather duster" * the storm-torn nest.
    "draped like curtains down the old tree’s trunk." How hopeful to know the parents were not giving up. (Even if it is difficult to see another animal torn up for dinner.

    (As a personal aside, our gal in Boston witnessed something similar on the campus of Northeastern just this week, with cries/screams of the animal the raptor caught, no less. . . .)

    Your poems always move me, JoAnn. So good to visit on Poetry Friday.
    - Jan/Bookseedstudio
  4. April 14, 2017 5:18 PM EDT
    Glad owls are safe and sound, JoAnn. I was nervous. Thank you for this lovely poem. I, too, loved "feather duster chick." Such a great image! -- Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/blog/
    - Christie Wyman
  5. April 14, 2017 6:26 PM EDT
    This poem had me in its grip, JoAnn! What a fantastic story (and an incredible photo, too). I especially love the juxtaposition of tearing apart prey in one line and feather duster chick in the next. I was so excited to see an owl asleep in our back yard a few weeks ago. It was my first sighting!
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
  6. April 14, 2017 7:04 PM EDT
    Oh, thank you all! The nest is in a yard a few blocks away from our house. We walk over often to spy on the owls. We worried when we saw the nest in shreds, so we were happy to see the family reunited.
    - JoAnn Early Macken
  7. April 14, 2017 11:17 PM EDT
    Great poem, and I'm so glad it has a happy ending!
    - Linda Kulp Trout
  8. April 15, 2017 8:11 AM EDT
    Owls fascinate me and I was in the grips of your poem from start to finish. I'm so relieved it had a happy ending. I love the "feather duster chick" description and delighted in your fantastic photo.
    - Molly Hogan
  9. April 15, 2017 9:15 AM EDT
    Great photo! Glad your poem had a happy ending!
    - Mary Lee Hahn
  10. April 15, 2017 12:04 PM EDT
    Wonderful photo, and I like the drama in the poem.
    - Brenda at friendlyfairytales.com
  11. April 15, 2017 5:34 PM EDT
    Beautiful capture of this moment, JoAnn. A favorite memory is walking with my husband's aunt on their farm, watching for the great horned owls in their woods. I've seen crows help others, love that you included that, too.
    - Linda Baie
  12. April 16, 2017 9:20 AM EDT
    Thanks, everyone! Yes, I'm relieved about the happy ending, too! I looked for the family yesterday, but they were all hidden again. While writing the poem, I found several sources online that explained how an owlet can climb a trunk. At least now I know they can move around safely even though the owlet can't fly yet.
    - JoAnn Macken
  13. April 16, 2017 5:13 PM EDT
    Wow, that must have been quite an experience. I love listening to the owls call to one another in our woods. Nice work.
    - Doraine BEnnett
  14. April 16, 2017 7:17 PM EDT
    I'm glad to learn of the happy ending for the little owl and the bigger ones. I frequently hear owls around our place, but I haven't looked for them. I'm tempted to go on an owl hunt to see what I might spy!
    - Kay Jernigan McGriff