Sunday, 28 of August of 2016

Barbara Helfgott Hyett – Northern Spotted Owl

The following is a recording of a Spotted Owl near the home of a women who has done more than most any other to protect the homes of rare Northern California Spotted Owls. She posted this recording on her Facebook yesterday.

Further below is a related poem that’s been written by warrior poet Barbara Helfgott Hyett.

Northern Spotted Owl

–Strix occidentalis caurina

She sleeps all day, taunted by crows, mobbed
by the tiniest sparrows, and holds to that
branch, eight talons tucked beneath her.
She tempers her power, tamps threat

into sexual fire, screams in courtship,
mates on the knife-edge, doesn’t build
but steals nests from treetops, from the gaping
stump’s heart.  Her eggs are hard.

Night unravels slights and ruses;
woodrats rustle the leaf-litter–crush
the skull    undercut the belly
swallow it whole!

She is mind incarnate: cerebrum,
cerebellum, medulla oblongata, dark
eyes that see too far.  She’s the fallen angel
at the lip of the timberland; her breast

is as dappled as bark.  Hurled from the story,
she scans the cold mechanics of the mountain,
the river’s alluvium, the falls and its deception–
the once and broken covenant of fir.

Barbara Helfgott Hyett
June-July 1998 Earth First!




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