something sinking away to create valleys and lowlands.
I imagine a clear stream descending in troughs and eddies
resisted by your fur to pool in brilliant hemispheres.
Your eye, clear as glass, green/gold of sorrel or birch, backlit and evening
is gone sewn in blind: a scar on a long hill.
Over time you become stranger:
paths peter out, lost in contours raised by bone,
the quiet tectonic shift redefining earth,
the stone and soil and frost
that built you.
Funeral for an Owl
The smoke betrays you, balling out into the room to hang like a shroud.
Stopped in the flue above the baffle, wings folded at terrible angles, there is nothing to you
but a beautiful, plumed husk, light as a wasps’ nest, woven from the thinnest bones.
Outside, a gusting breeze seeks to resurrect you. We dream your damson heart quickens
at the scurried grass, its possibilities of mice and shrew, but you are long gone,
deceived by the darkness that shielded you, the black promise that drew you in.
As the May sun chases shadows across the ground, to the song of blackcap and wren we carry you
to the far field, its riven oak swarming with ivy, and prop you inside the trunk: a ball of soft nothing,
one small hole that remembers your eye and claws gnarled knots that could only scratch and scuff
the dreadful steel, your last glare fixed on the far circle of stars above your twisted wing.
Jane Lovell is an award-winning poet whose work focuses on our relationship with the planet and its wildlife. Her latest collection This Tilting Earth is published by Seren. Jane also writes for Dark Mountain and Elementum Journal. She is writer-in-residence at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Her new collection God of Lost Ways was just published by Indigo Dreams Press and includes these poems.