Poem of the Week, by D.R. Goodman

IMG_2137Last week I dreamed a dream so disturbing that I was afraid to google its meaning and asked the Painter to do so for me. The closest interpretation I can find says it’s about something you once dreamed of doing, he said. You want to reclaim something you’ve lost in yourself. 

The interpretation hit me hard. Thinking about it over the next few days, I kept remembering a late afternoon almost twenty years ago when I was wandering trail-less through a quiet forest. At one point I stopped and looked up and met the eyes of an owl looking back at me. This was the first time I had ever seen a living owl. I tilted my head to take it in, and the owl tilted its head the same way. Back and forth we went, observing each other. I don’t know exactly what that owl or this poem below –a poem I’ve held in my heart ever since I first read it–have to do with my terrible, galvanizing dream. But I intend to figure it out. 


Owls in the City Hills, by D.R. Goodman

how they hunt us,
casting their deep vowels like feathered hooks,
to pull us from shallow sleep or simple talk,
and out to the night, the stand of eucalyptus

a looming silhouette, the black above us;
we, barefoot on the littered deck, and blind,
stare wide into the dark and hear the sound
move eerily from tree to tree around us;

our backs to the spreading net of city lights
below, we’ve nothing but the trees, our eyes,
the dark, the sound, these owls we cannot see—

though once at dusk, by chance, I saw one light
and spread its wings, and tinged by copper skies,
lay silence to the city, utterly.
For more information on poet and martial arts expert D.R. Goodman, ​please click here.



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  1. Alissa du Bois · April 13, 2019

    Alison, I cannot begin to tell you how much I am enjoying the poetry sharing. Your work alone would have been gift enough. The addition if this has cemented my gratitude. I work at The Otto Bookstore in Williamsport Pa. If you ever find your way there, it would be a pleasure to meet you. For now, thank you for it all.
    In appreciation and gratitude, Alissa du Bois

    Liked by 1 person

    • alisonmcghee · April 13, 2019

      Alissa, what a beautiful note! I’m so glad you love the poems. I’ll make it a point to come by the Otto Bookstore on my next eastern road trip. xo


  2. Carolyn Halliday · April 14, 2019

    Alison I think you’re amazing So much gratitude for the wisdom and beauty in every poem and blog

    Carolyn Halliday

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  3. alisonmcghee · April 14, 2019

    Carolyn, what an incredibly kind thing to say. I’m so glad you love the poem posts.


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