Owl In Flight

Upswept Wings

Owl In Flight

Cherry orchard sandlots,
rolling terrain of rye.

At the keel,
sternum flutters.
Contoured feathers,
streamlined flight.

Vigilant search for rations.
Scanning from the clouds.
Aerial stillness passing.
Hunger seems to last.

Movement detected.
Gliding high above.

Brief stillness in air.
Ready for the dive.
Falling on approach.


I am posting this one for the “One Stop Poetry Challenge – the Photography of Fee Easton” .

Also posted on:

The Gooseberry Garden
Gooseberry Garden

Poetry Picnic Week 9 : Longing, Loss, Loosing and Failure

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on May 15, 2011, in Animal, Birds, One Stop Poetry, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. very cool!!!!i like it…

  2. What do you like about it?

  3. “At the keel,
    sternum flutters.
    Contour feathers
    streamlined for flight.”

    Especially like the four lines I quote. Keen descriptions throughout that take into account both the complexity and beauty of the movement.

    • Thanks. When I wrote it, I researched the anatomy of the owl, then looked at what phase of flight this photograph depicted. Finally, I looked at some scientific research as to their habitat, living etc.

  4. this has a very nice beat to it…and is great visual as well particularly those lines that adam points out…very nice…

  5. great descriptive write thank you

  6. If only we humans could watch with such an eye. To find only what we need before the dive.

  7. your poem is as wise and focused as the owl — woot! πŸ™‚

  8. Got here via the dVerse Critique thingy and am glad I did. This is a very nice piece of work. I love the image you paint. The pace and the meter is well done. I especially like that you don’t throw in a bunch of unneeded words. Sometimes small words, like “the” and (oh there’s one now) even “there” clutter a poem more than add to it. It is nice to read one that is streamlined and yet still so very clear in its intention. I enjoyed this very much. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I like that you make a picture here. You do it economically and without excess. There isn’t editorial comment that distracts. Just a couple of questions–“Hunger seems to last” How would we know that? It’s not really a picture word. It could probably be assumed from the hunting context that the owl is hungry. You might not need to mention it. Also, the last line–What would a successful hunt look like? I believe you’d have the ability to make that picture too, if it were necessary. I don’t think it is. Owls don’t miss very often, and the capture is already in the reader’s mind.

    Thanks for sharing this very nicely crafted piece.

  10. This is def a harder one to critique with your economy of words….it is a descriptive poem as well…and that is where its strength arises…even though it is short i would add some line breaks to allow us to absorb all the descriptions….there is a point where you move from description to action, but you use a passive voice…if you want make it active voice to pick up on the turn here is an idea

    Movement is detected ( i would cut ‘is’ as it makes it passive)
    while gliding high above. (cut while)


    movement detected
    gliding his above

    and carry that forward…

    just a thought, but you did really well here as i have come to expect of your verse…..

  11. i enjoyed your poem very much. i like cherry and rye up high. that was a delicious sense of taste to open while you built the image of the owl looking for food. the point of view looking down on the land was breathless. i don’t think you need the line vigilant search for rations. it’s understood.

  12. Normally I don’t like visual stimuli when I read a piece, as I find that it often sets a mindset prior to reading. In this case however, your words are extremely streamlined with the image. I really liked the purpose/mission/success aspect to this poem; it provides much anticipation while at the same time expressing the grace that is in nature.

    What I liked most was how you have eliminated all superfluous and repetitive words, making the write extremely tight. The flow is beautiful too; while reading, it came off the tongue naturally.

    I liked how you used “Ariel stillness passing” and then “Brief stillness in the air”. Seemingly repetitive, yet the first use lead in well to the patience of the seek, and the latter held the brief moment of anticipation before the end.

  13. Not having read this before you made changes, the is beautiful. I had a Great Horned Owl land on a utility pole about 10 away from me around 11pm. The only thing I heard was a whosh of air. I was amazed how silent this enormous bird was. We stared at each other for about 10 min and then he/she left. Loved you wrote about an owl. Also you did a good job with free verse, something I have yet to get a feel for. Have a great day.

  14. Another beautiful poem! Thanks for sharing it with us. Blessings, Terri

  15. great job,
    love the flying power .

  16. Must be so wonderful to be a bird in free flight. I swear I was one in past life.
    Lovely imagery used in this.

  17. vivid capture of how an owl flies…

    your words are descriptive.


  18. so descriptive of an owl and such a fantastic write I think your poetry is well penned and so well done

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