Late March at Nisqually

Last Sunday Mike introduced me to local poet Kevin Miller, who he‘d previously told about my web site. After seeing my pictures, Kevin graciously presented me with this poem he’d written about Nisqually Wildlife Refuge:


First light on Hawks Prairie, an owl draws a flat line
into a stand of fir. Twin barns reappear on the Delta.

What returns without bidding is as sure as brothers
home to help with heavy chores, and more.

The slip to day catches night flight, paths cross,
chance lifts a curtain and certain structure

rises before dawn’s stall keeps the hunter aloft.
Left to the morning, harriers will etch shadow marks

over marsh and sloped roofs. Rainier will float like a white
kite tethered to the river strung east through alder.

Songbirds are a month away. Last season
the path to the Reach gave up the fanned wing

of a barn owl, a morning-after memento
dusting airy repose from the great horned dark.

Unfortunately, I‘ve yet to observe owls in flight, but the hope of seeing an owl flying through the sky, as well as the other sighs Kevin describes draw me back to Nisqually “as sure as brothers/ home to help with heavy chores.“

It was probably mere coincidence,though it doesn’t feel that way, that when I returned to Nisqually the next day I found the owls’ nest that I’ve been hearing about for awhile. Though it was difficult to get a picture of the owl hiding in the dark crotch of a tree, here’s my first attempt at getting a picture, all be it one that required too much lightening in Photoshop to be entirely satisfactory:

I haven’t purchased one of Kevin’s books yet but Everywhere Was Far is available at Amazon.

You can also find a poem entitled No Halo
here as well as another poem entitled When My Mother here.