Category Archives: VOICES

Who dug the grave ? I said the owl with my shovel and trowel.

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Philip Hammial

Two wrongs make, for owls, a night. Seven brides: they, the keepers of owls… a poem from Philip Hammial

On the floor, tie strings to their legs, pull
them around. Owls: toys without wheels. One
who blows into the wrong end—of a trombone. One
who blows into the wrong end—of an owl. Two wrongs
make, for owls, a night. Seven brides: they, the keepers
of owls, have dared to suggest that I won’t be happy
with less but six would suffice. What
Attila asked of Nestor at the Battle of San Romano: Why
to owls this show of kindness? Wretched & sumptuous,
a squat among owl-faced clocks. Stubbed out
on flesh: owls clap. Fifty men, fifty women
on twenty-five window ledges: holding hands, two
by two, will jump unless … owls, no
strings attached, jump first. A cheer for Lisbon—owl
chatter silenced. Modus operandi: a flooded forest, oars
for owls. Sailors in trees, coaxed down,
maybe, by … owls. Snuffed candles: not me who’s responsible
for this lack of owl precision. J’accuse: responsible
for my heart attack—that owl perched on my left
pulmonary artery. On the head of a pin: owls jostling
for space. Alone in the mess world (read hall): feed
them, now! Cat’s bowl: bath
for owls. For Philip the Good: owls
in a game bag. For Philip the Bad: flies
in a game bag. Opening his raincoat, a drenched
dealer in owls. Submissive for a pushing guy, sycophant
as owl surrogate. Common error of owl injection:
sub-temporal orientation. Goth owls: bald with
multiple piercings from which
canaries swing. Respectful of fashion whims, they’d
better be. Perfectly rendered: an owl in wood
to manipulate: obedient marionette. Four corners for
owl blessings, ascertain which is most officious. Quantum
wedges equal (usually) pontifical owls. They
know that we know that they know …
©Philip Hammial

Still as they run they look behind, They hear a voice in every wind, And snatch a fearful joy.

-Thomas Gray   Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College (published1747)

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“Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, “Is life a multiple choice test or is it a true or false test?” …Then a voice comes to me out of the dark and says, “We hate to tell you this but life is a thousand word essay.”

― Charles M. Schulz