five ways of looking at hawk

on hawkwings return
me to the timeless before–
climbing windswept paths

currents ride
wings that touch both here
and yonder

rootpaths follow earth–
wings listen to ancient moons–
blue rivers of night

perched in place,
sharply focused, air
paused, waiting

stillness of being–
feathers answering the wind–
open, becoming

Brendan supplied some images this week at earthweal to inspire ekphrastic poems. I chose to work with hawk, above.

37 thoughts on “five ways of looking at hawk

  1. Yonder is a wonderful word that I don’t hear much these days. My grandmother used the word a lot. Someone was always “over yonder.” It’s nice to encounter the word again. Beautiful poem, Kerfe. Offers a hawk’s view. Whenever we see a hawk in the yard (not often but sometimes) all the other birds are gone! They were there; now they’re gone. One way of knowing the hawk has arrived. But life from the hawk’s view is spacious, majestic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hawks do tend to have that influence on the wildlife. They are majestic.

      Yonder does seem a word of our grandparents’ generation, but I like it too. There’s no word that quite replaces it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In a bit of synchronicity, I saw a hawk land in the field out back as I was at the computer. I quickly reached for the phone to take a pic but it was gone just like that. First time ever seeing one on the ground. It seemed out of place. Oh, to live in the air instead of earthbound… Thank you for the inspiring artwork and poetry, Kerfe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jade and you’re welcome. Birds are always inspiring.

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hawk on the ground either. Mostly they are soaring. There’s one that visits the water tower a few rooftops away that the crows also like. It’s the highest place around, so I guess that’s why.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I considered writing about the hawk. I have one that visits me a few times a week. They are amazing creatures with great perception. The artwork is amazing and your words fit perfectly. I really like the hawk perched in the
    third one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Truedessa. That one was done from a photo I took of a hawk on the tree outside my window a few years (and residences) ago. In this apartment they perch on the water tower a few rooftops away outside my kitchen window, but it’s far, so hard to get a good photo.


  4. The structure of these may seem very different from Tang dynasty quatrains but I was struck by the flow and the messages, and how it evoked for me reading poems in Chinese. I’ve tried to approximate that myself once, but you’ve really caught the spirit, especially in the last three. But I really love “wings that touch both here / and yonder”. That is the part of the bird I relate to most.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sun. They are meant to be haiku-like. I can never tell if I’m exactly following the rules. I don’t know much about Chinese poetry, but I imagine it’s in the same spirit as haiku or tanka.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely read these as haiku in spirit and form. Haiku and ci are similar in theme and economy, if not totally in how the poem is read, thanks to the major phonological differences. I think what evoked ci for me was the more or less equal weighting of syllables. I might finally write a post about this (thank you for the inspiration) but it has a lovely, almost dreamy flowing effect, which your poems also do!

        Liked by 1 person

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