night, owl, moon

observe the owl,
illuminated with shivering shadows
cast between branches
by the moon—

is it a sign,
an initiation?
or simply a reflection
of the enormous mystery
of a journey
whose path can never be

When I saw Jane’s Random Word Generator list this week, the first word that jumped out at me was owl, which of course reminded me of my moon and owl painting that seems to go so well with so many poems. I was thinking about it when David published the W3 prompt for this week, which invited us to respond to Denise DeVries’ poem “Generation Gap” using a computer aid, such as a Random Word Generator.

In Denise’s poem, she and her granddaughter look up in wonder at the night sky.

The words I used from Jane’s list were: observe, owl, illume (illuminated), shivering, cast, sign, initiate (initiation), reflect (reflection), enormous, foretell (foretold).

Denise wonders if using a Random Word Generator would be cheating. But words are just words, no matter the source–why would it be cheating to take any word from anywhere as inspiration for a poem? It’s the poet who must make them sing.

51 thoughts on “night, owl, moon

  1. When I saw ‘owl’ in the list, I decided not to load another even though the rest of the words didn’t particularly inspire me.
    And of course, you made a good poem with the owl and its enigma. It seems to invite questions, but I suspect owls have their own journey. It’s because we are unsure of where we are going that we look to them for a sign.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You may be right…our paths cross but don’t intersect. And yet…owls do seem to have something to communicate. Or more likely we have something to learn from them.


  2. I really like the poem, and you know how much I love your owl moon painting. They do seem to be mysterious, perhaps because of the way they look, and that they come out at night. I suspect Jane is right.

    I thought the same thing about the word generator. It’s totally different than having an AI generated poem. They are just word prompts, and as you say, they could come from anywhere.


    1. Thanks Merril. Whatever is associated with night seems mysterious I think, but owls seem to embody an otherworldliness as well. Perhaps just a mirror to the magic we could find if we took the time to look. Much of what we call omen is a mirroring back of what is already there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t think it matters where you find the words. I do like a thesaurus. I don’t write poetry, but for prose writing I like finding the words that are close to whatever popped into my head. Sometimes one of the other words sounds better. Even when I don’t use the found words, it’s nice to read and encounter them anyway. Words are like the colors of the artist’s palette.

    Beautiful writing, Kerfe. And art.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a print thesaurus and a print dictionary right on my shelf. The internet is handy, but whenever the internet or the computer is on the fritz (which has happened several times this week), I’m still good. Books! Real books.

        I composed a long post on WP only to find the internet was down. I copied the whole thing in long hand just in case I had to retype it. Fortunately, I was able to post after a bit. But having the written copy is nice for the notebook. I was reluctant to lose a lot of work. A souvenir.

        Liked by 1 person

              1. Fortunately, many things that they don’t teach in schools anymore are available to learn elsewhere. There are some wonderful videos on Youtube for cursive. Schools are steadily making themselves obsolete. Cursive is not only useful and beautiful, it’s a great tool for mindfulness.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Muri. The online poem generators don’t work very well in my experience, but they can produce a kind of surrealist verse. Or a jumping off point for something completely different. All of this is (or should) just be a spark to your own ideas.


            1. Not enough. He cares not a whit for the women he uses, and is incapable of feeling disgrace. True poverty, a debilitating illness, prison, no one paying the slightest bit of attention to him…that might start to be payback. Also, his legacy of lies needs to fall apart–all his fans need to see through them. Not happening.


              1. he is a psychopath, diagnosed as such by many qualified ppl … but if ppl choose to be blind nobody can open their eyes!

                Must admit I’m super over all the media coverage … he just has to sneeze and it’s headlines … they must be desperate for news!

                Liked by 1 person

          1. yes, you’re right…. I’ve been thinking about that, and perhaps I should reframe it – what do you think?

            I don’t really have a problem with the way it’s evolved, but it’s turned into something different than what I’d originally expected.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I agree. Since people don’t seem to want to do the response part, both in their writing and their prompts, then maybe just ask for a prompt from the poet selected. But I think that aspect has a lot of value, and would be sad to see it eliminated, and it fits well with the poetry partners. Maybe ask people if they are even aware of it? It may be it escaped their notice.


    1. Thanks David. Once again, though, I think the instructions make it hard to respond to the original poem. Perhaps you should just eliminate that as a requirement.


  4. An owl came to tell me that my loved one had passed on. Whether a warning or a comfort, I can’t be sure. Definitely an alert. I lived in the building three years, never hearing much from an owl, and I am an observer. Suddenly my boyfriend was missing, and I started hearing this owl, thinking how odd it was. Not until I found out my boyfriend had passed, did I make the connection. Birds have much to tell us if we listen.

    This one really speaks to me, this one would be my first choice for a bestowing of your wonderful art. I have a couple others I really like as second and third choice.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are far from the first to ask for this one, but I keep it on my own wall.

      Birds are definitely connections to the spirit world. Many of my friends have similar stories to yours.

      Liked by 1 person

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