Hold like Owls: Poems

Hold like Owls: Poems

Hold like Owls: Poems

Hold like Owls: Poems


First Date

Fifteen-year-old Jean is astonished when a handsome Johnny whirls her 'round the dance floor. She's never given much thought to boys before; now Johnny is all that's on her mind. Finally she finds the courage to invite him to a dance. But the excitement of a new dress and a scheme to take Johnny's photograph cannot stop jean's growing uneasiness that she likes Johnny a lot more than he likes her...

This high-school story, which is both funny and touching, is about a girl who lacks self-confidence, and a boy who has too much.


The role of the poet is not just to tell but to imagine—then illumine. the role of the poet is not just to bear witness—never to preach—but make us see, remember, recall, reach, open up both doors of the universe.

The title, and first image, owls, this ancient holy bird of the world, this great symbol of knowledge and of warning, holds sway throughout this powerful first collection.

Then the poet jumps us to moths and paper birds, but do not worry, there is still connection and wonder, and the mother image will return to make us turn our heads, all the way around in a revolution of mindfulness, without consideration of rules and limitations, that usually come along with necks.

Moths must tire of sleeping near the ceiling.
All that waiting for their wings to match
color that changes where wall folds to eave.

(“Paper Birds”)

And our flight through this landscape of winged things continues:

This afternoon I found her at the table, asleep
among paper, delicate as dreams, elaborate
birds made of folding, made for our ceiling.

(“Paper Birds”)

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