Starving after long rain, the barn owl hunts again
Her damp feathers bank through the dusk
as she scans the white heart of her face
over a flooded ditch and cold field.
She flies low, silently. The small shriek
of a vole, a bulge in her gullet. Its warmth
crushes into her frosty softness.
The salt marsh is sodden and, beyond it,
a spring tide rides high, up the estuary –
lifting keels, lapping seats round the quay –
but, out here, the owl’s buff back glisters;
a curious air stirs skeletal trees
that might soon speak the lightest green.
Robyn Bolam has published four poetry collections with Bloodaxe. New Wings was a PBS Recommendation and Hyem, which includes eco-poems with settings from the New Forest to New Zealand, appeared in October 2017. Widely anthologised, her work is included in Land of Three Rivers (Bloodaxe, 2017) and other publications include Eliza’s Babes: four centuries of women’s poetry in English. She is Hampshire Poet 2018 and, in 2016-17, led the combined-arts Ferry Tales project on the Solent. www.robynbolam.com