Friday, December 12, 2014

Poetry Friday - Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shores

If you know OWL MOON by Jane Yolen, you'll want to follow along with Owl Count 2014, which begins at midnight on December 14th. Heidi Stemple will be live tweeting (perhaps on this occasion it should be called hooting) @heidieys and reporting on the Facebook page. In honor of the count, I'm sharing this lovely poem.

Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shores
by Duane Niatum

A castaway blown south from the arctic tundra
sits on a stump in an abandoned farmer’s field.
Beyond the dunes cattails toss and bend as snappy
as the surf, rushing and crashing down the jetty.

His head a swivel of round glances,
his eyes a deeper yellow than the winter sun,
he wonders if the spot two hundred feet away
is a mouse on the crawl from mud hole
to deer-grass patch.

Read the poem in its entirety.

Visit the Audubon Society to learn more about the Christmas bird count.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Paul at These 4 Corners. Happy poetry Friday friends!


  1. What striking imagery! Love it.

  2. I don't believe I've ever seen or heard an owl in the flesh. How sad is that? I've seen them online, and on the arm of a rehabilitator, but never a-hooting in the woods. I hope those who count them this year find many, many thriving.

  3. Oh, how I'd love to see a stray snowy owl! And to hear you say that, Diane, makes me feel very lucky to have heard screech owls in my neighborhood and to have seen and heard great horned owls with long ago students on night time owl walks!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Must find more of Duane Niatum's work - thanks for posting this poem. In addition to the owl, I love that little mouse crawling "from mud hole to deer-grass patch." Diane, we don't get many owls inside the Seattle city limits, either!

  6. Niatum captures an owl perfectly. Thanks for this owl gift. I would love to see a snowy owl as well.