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Eastern Screech Owl: Draw a Bird Day

eyes that penetrate
beyond fear

I had a dream awhile back about hearing a bird calling. Looking for the source, I found it was a tiny owl. It let me get up close to it, but when I tried to take its photo, it went into my daughter’s shirt pocket and hid. Of course I had to try to identify what this owl could be.

As with my hoopoe dream, I recognized it immediately when I saw photos. The Eastern Screech Owl is a robin-sized owl, and would easily fit into a pocket. They are common throughout eastern North America, and though they prefer woodlands, have adapted to living in both cities and suburbs. These owls do not build nests, but depend on tree holes that already exist, often those abandoned by woodpeckers. They will also use nest boxes. Active from dusk to dawn, they eat mostly insects and small rodents, but have been known to catch small fish, as well as frogs and lizards. They also eat other birds, as owls are prone to do.

Their call is unusual, more like a whinny than what I would associate with an owl. Definitely not a screech.

Owls are considered old souls, prophets, protectors, keepers of ancient wisdom. They are also associated with death. But as with the Death card in the tarot, death is never just an ending, but a beginning as well.

As to what my dream meant, I still haven’t puzzled it out.

I didn’t have time to paint an owl this week, but I did a third quick drawing without looking at the page. A good exercise which I should repeat more often.

March 2021

what dream is this?  circling
spiralling into form
slipstreamed fertile reborn

Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday theme is dreams, so I’ve written a variety of dream poems for March, a dreamy month I think. I’ve interspersed some of my previous March grids.

March 19 grid 2s

in March I
ruminate return
rains that be
come sun-dappled spring—shining,
blooming with birdwings

march 2018 grid s

dreams become
part of the landscape
filling in


begin to dance
with waves of light, singing
sun into roots, filling
my nights with dreams
of dawn

Poetic forms are, in order, abhanga, shadorma, haiku, badger’s hexastitch.

sailing the mares of night

sailing the mares s

sailing the mares magnetic s

The Oracle gave me another lai, the featured poetic form at dVerse for May.  She began with darkness and ended with light.  They are always switching places it seems.

saling the mares close up s

what blackness this storm?
it covers the moon
and sky

beneath shadowed dream
wind remakes the when
of why

time sings of spring sun
the light whispers come–
don’t cry

Shadows and Dreams

shadows and dreams s

I dreamt of my grandmother
in a large bed
in a crowded room
filled with aunts and uncles and cousins.

But where was my mother?

I sat in a rocking chair
and held her mother’s hand.
We did not need to speak–
her fingers had already threaded the needle
and passed it along.

My father came to me
like a bird, wings of arms outstretched.
“I am looking out for you,” he said.
I knew then he had made it safely
to the other side.

The dreams of a child
are like the cascading of oceans–
endless waves merging as they ebb and flow,
fantastic worlds ignoring the divisions
of day and night.
I would be a princess, a singer, a cosmic traveler,
an artist.  I would be a butterfly, a tree,
a bird.

What were my mother’s dreams?

I could not imagine her as a child.

She said she had wanted to be
an engineer.  She wanted
to study in Mexico.  She wanted
to travel the world.  Her father said
that was not what women did.
They married and had families–
and so she married my father,
and I was born between brothers.

When I dreamed of my children’s father,
he was working.
He was always working.
But my heart was glad:
“You are yourself again,” I said.
I knew he had made it safely
to the other side,
tools in hand.

For the last few years of her life,
my mother barely spoke.
She lost her tether to the world
when my father died.
Neither the hands of her children or her sister
could pull her back.

She is suspended in both time and place.

And so each night I wait.
When will she return to me, herself again,
to embrace my longing?

Where is my mother?

shadows and dreams close up s

I don’t usually write such long or personal poems, but Larry Levis’ beautiful and meditative words, the reference for today’s NaPoWriMo prompt about the layers of time in thought and in life, made me think (as I often do) of my mother.  I’ve also incorporated the dVerse prompt of cascade.


Night Visions (Moon Totem #2)

moon totem 2s

the matrix of my dream emerges
from dark mirrors, casting outlines
of stories on particles
of air—constellated
points of glittered light
following the
movements of

A nonet for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday with synonyms for origin and write.

I did a bunch of these moon totems in 2017 and meant to do more, but the project got sidetracked by life.  I found this one in a drawer…I know the others are around somewhere.  Perhaps they are hiding with the birdlings, also missing since I moved.


Enchanted Garden

enchanted garden comp

enchanted garden magnetic

Nina and I consulted the Oracle together this week.  We did our art independently, but the Oracle is always watching.

enchanted garden s

Now out to look at the blood moon!

Diamond rain crushing
the sky with shadow wind,
bitter like an ache–

Blood singing of moon storms–
languid music so still…

I want an enchanted garden
of madness and mist
to whisper through beauty–



Incompletion s

Tomorrow it will be gone–
this false night,
this held breath–
we are undreamed.

Light falls scattered
without gravity,
a sliver of reflected time–
tomorrow it will be gone,

out there towards never.
It resembles matter,
although it has no form–
this false night,

pure, unbroken–
(that’s what I imagine–
healed and levitating into always)
This held breath—

it neither comes nor goes.
Listening, it does not reply–
(we’ve lost our knowledge of sleep)–
we are undreamed.

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  Another mysterious landscape.

incompletion close up s

Another cascade poem.


Draw a Bird Day: Which Bird?

which bird s

I thought I saw blue jays, but red feathers and whistles turned them into cardinals. I thought I saw cardinals, but the starlings stole their song.  I thought I saw starlings, but they grew huge and then they laughed in a raucous crow chorus.

sparrows 2 s

Which bird? you ask, which
bird?—sparrows, tiny sparrows–
wings to wish upon

This is based on a fragment of a dream that came back to me with the birds in the morning.  All five birds mentioned are often both heard and seen outside my windows and doors (and, apparently, also in my dreams).

cardinal blue jay s



The Moon is Dreaming

the moon is dreaming s

the language of sleep magnetic

I haven’t visited the magnetic Oracle for awhile.  She didn’t talk about the moon specifically, but I think it’s inferred.

the language of sleep
whispers beneath a garden
of a thousand dreams

like flowers born dancing with
children and starry-eyed fools


Sketch of a dream

Kerfe and I miss everyone and we miss WordPress. Kerfe has been dealing with an illness in the family and I…well, still haven’t set my workspace and just general work fatigue. I told Kerfe about the dream and she told me to draw it. I’m at work, nothing but a legal pad and marker. In my dream it was more cloud like, fluffier and dreamlike. Anyway we just wanted to say hi. Kerfe will be back to posting soon and so will I!