Moonlight reflects
from snow-encrusted surfaces,
bounces a single
immense shadow
up to the side of the barn.

I watch the moving silhouette
of some large owl, species
uncertain, but make simple
identification from the turret-
turning of its head.

It bends low over
the snow, listening to something
there beneath. I hold
my breath, as if I too might
hear it, some small thing

tunneling invisibly
between the smothered
blades of grass. I hold
my breath, I am become
like owl, a hunger

and this listening
is all there is.


In response to/inspired by Dave Bonta’s “Early” and Luisa A. Igloria’s “Landmarks.”

(Lord’s day). To church in the morning, where our young Reader begun the first day to read. Sir W. Pen dined with me and we were merry. Again to church and so home, and all alone read till bedtime, and so to prayers and to bed.
I have been troubled this day about a difference between my wife and her maid Nell, who is a simple slut, and I am afeard we shall find her a cross-grained wench. I am now full of study about writing something about our making of strangers strike to us at sea; and so am altogether reading Selden and Grotius, and such other authors to that purpose.

I read
read all alone

read till I am cross-
grained I am

full of strangers
I am read.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 15 December 1661.