The Owl

Mariyn Buck

[This poem is read on the CD by Nellie Wong. MP3 of this poem]

Emma woman needed no serpent
     to know the ways of the world
she whirled around, looked down on nakedness
     and approved
perched upon the apple branch, fist clenched she whooped
     why listen
          to a snake when one is

a perspicacious owl
     spectacled, panoramic eyes penetrating
     penumbras of hybrid white mice pretending
     to be blue-blood swans?

Emma owl swooped
anarched wings and ruffled feathers

     red & black      worker ants sallied
     from rattletrap tenements
     mine shafts and foundry furnaces
          you have nothing

to lose but your chains
     they marched uptown
          to strike
the swindle-starched underbellies
of gold-dust-whiskered rats

aria-throated plebian owl she
     flew      flew
indefatigable over seas and land
wings fanning freedom

                                                                 November 2001

poems © the authors
compilation © The Freedom Archives