We Hawks


The other day, while the freezing winds
swatted starlings from ground to air
and from here to there, I spied a hawk
in a tree next to the interstate.
Along the way, I saw five more, morose,
hunched in shadow-scanning readiness to strafe
some shivering prey. I thought this quite odd,
seeing six hawks in one day. All kept
to their own solitary company. Like me.

Now those starlings, they group in a murmuration,
humming wings oozing their number
through the air like some feathered amoeba.
But a collection of hawks is called a Boil or a Kettle.
A poetic birder thought they resembled
something swirling in a cauldron as they circled
above, riding earth’s warm exhalations.

I think they are more like me, who perches
in this chair, stoop-shouldered, searching
for the shadow of a word to poke its head
into the sunlight of this lamp. Today,
when I found no prey upon which to swoop
with rapacious intent, I thought of those
shivering raptors with their tails of red,
like this poet, with his eyes to match.
We carve a line from the city to Halfmoon.
We Scribe of hawks.


5 thoughts on “We Hawks

  1. Oh, this is filled with the wildness of the cold wind – and a ‘scribe of hawks’ is a wonderful collective noun – perfect! I too have waited for the shadow to appear – just a glimpse of a thought or word – nice, Joe!- K

  2. “We Scribe of hawks.” I really like the sound of that! Besides the aforementioned subject itself, it speaks to quills and writing, a certain nobleness of calling, and the word “we” invites inclusiveness of all who can relate. I always appreciate how you manage to take a familiar sight or topic, and personalize it and make it your own. Another lovely write, Joe.

  3. I concur with Ginny, what an apt description!! “We Scribe of hawks.” that too for morsel of words!! Stupendous indeed 🙂

  4. Yes, your last line is killer, brother; & the piece sings its own song to the cadence of beating wings, the damn throng of flocked starlings acting out an aerial Busby Berkley dance in the sky, & the red tails, all business, sharp beaks & talons, sharper eyes. Was great to have you tend the bar at the Pub for OLN there, big guy; hope this year is a landmark one for the retired fellow who has even more time to write poetry now; liked the lines /searching for the shadow of a word to poke its head/into the sunlight of this lamp/.

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