THE OWL – A POEM by The Lonely Recluse

I caught an owl once

Sleeping in his tree

I took him home with me

To ask him many things

And test his wisdom heavily

I asked him of past and future

Of now and then

He gave me no reply

Not a word spoke he

Or not one to me

Do you not know human tongues

Or do you dislike your company

To not speak a word

At least not to me

The owl stayed silent

Staring, staring silently

Not one word spoke he

In answer to my words

Could he not speak

Or was he aware

Of my infamy

I asked him a thousand things

Of then and now

And how and why

Still he stared

He stared silently

With not a word

Or not one for me

He just stared

Stared right through me

Maybe he stared for his tree

Thinking of being free

Free as the wind

Flying so silently

So joyfully, so free

Or maybe he just stared

Stared blankly

And thought of nothing

Did he even think

Do you think dear owl

Of course you will not speak

Not even a word

Not to me

But that does not mean

You cannot think

Does it now

The owl just stared

Stared, stared silently

Right through me

Looking at my soul

Evaluating, questioning

If it was worth

Speaking a word

Just one for me

And yet silent

Silent stayed he

Judging, damning

Staring through me

Unworthy, unworthy

No right to hear

Wisdom speak

Not me

Owl, owl

Wise old bird

Companion to Athena

Speak to me

Show me your judgement

Is not unfavourable

To me, on me

Wretched young me

Speak, speak

Unfavourable bird

So as not to damn me

With your muteness

Your animal dumbness

Like all your brethren

Unthinking, unknowing


Speak, speak to me

Just one word

One word for me

Still the owl sat

Staring, staring silently

Staring right through me

Not a word spoken

Or not one to me

Damning, judging, maddening me

With his silent staring

Evaluating me

You are but a beast

Dumb, mute, silent

As all your kin

You are not judging me

Silly bird, stupid bird

With your silent staring

Staring at me

You have no mind

No will, no hold

No hold over me

With this silent staring

You cannot fool me

Still the owl stared

Stared silently

Right through me

Judging, damning

Condemning me

No use, no use

I cannot pretend

You have no will

No power, no soul

While you stare

Stare so knowingly

Demon, Demon I name thee

Be gone, be free

Be away from me

The owl just stared

Stared, stared silently

Stared right through me

Not a feather did he flutter

Not a word did he utter

Or not one to me

No move did he make

No move to be free

He just stared

Stared right through me

Enough, enough

You have won

You have conquered

You have broken me

With your silent staring

Your judging, your damning

Shall you not go free

Will you not leave me be


no, you will not go free

Then it must be I

I who is let free

Free of this husk

This husk of humanity

This body trapping me

Trapping me to you

With you judging, damning

Your silent staring

Of this I shall be free

Never again shall I speak

Not one word more

Not me.


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