HAWK SPEAK

In POETRY by Wayne Amtzis1 Comment

The hawk
that swooped from the poplar
lifting a black baseball hat from my head
looped back to his nest

Drawing blood the next time,
the hawk that swooped from the poplar
lifting a black baseball hat
from my head
headed east into the distance

And again…
the hawk that swooped from the poplar
brushed my back
flew low over my head
made me duck
turned and turned above me

And again…
the hawk that swooped from the poplar
rose with the gestured lifting of a bamboo pole
above my head

The hawk that swooped from the poplar
looped and turned and swooped
low,
barely a heartbeat between us

The hawk
that swooped from the poplar
stayed on the branch chichicihri hri hri hri
when he saw me enter the yard

The hawk that swooped from the poplar
swooped low as I stood on the roof
and rose and rose
with the lifting of bamboo above my head
22 times
during the year of the earthquake
26 times
during my long goodbye

The hawk that swooped from the poplar
drew me out…
out of my body,
following him back to the trees
or further still
to the wide open sky

After a 15 month hiatus
I stood in front of the hawks’ nest
high in the poplar tree,
a petitioner undismayed by indifference
and disdain

And stood in full view on the roof,
marking the directions
N,E,S,W
and awaiting
within
One day and then another

And then
leaving the front door I felt
the whoosh of wings
down the long corridor of trees and house

Each time I ascended to the roof
with the tall bamboo pole across my shoulder
down swooped the hawk
swooped and rose and turned
and swooped again

This time another joined it
Male and female swooping above my head
The young one still perched
on the poplar tree

Day after day whenever I rose to the roof
to meet them
Every day in those last weeks,
but for the days when the new owners surveyed the yard
and our house of 32 years
that they would soon level to the ground,
the hawks would swoop
and circle

The male within pole’s reach,
the female more than a hand’s reach above it
What do I miss of Kathmandu?

The hawks, those hawks that each day of that long goodbye
swooped and turned
and rose
as I raised my eyes towards the trees
and sky,
enthralled by their presence,
thrilled by their descent

And the male’s chattering hririririrhri
whenever I stood in the open
at the heart of the mandala
sky-borne, inwardly
gazing

The dakinis of the valley
lifting me
into the blue depths of day,
far
and away

About the Author

Wayne Amtzis

Poetry is my sadhana/ Meditation, my muse. Other LEVEKUNST articles by the same author.

Photo by Erdem Kutukoglu. Turkey

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