day and night/silent wings
day and night
my house is surrounded
by sacred wings….
two hawks call to each other across my roof
in the still dawn….
their screes grace the silence,
point to the silence….
they dance on the lifting currents of air
caused by the difference between night and day,
cold and warm,
dark and light….
often they come back just before noon,
when drafts of air surge up off the warming hillsides….
their calls ring like temple bells:
reminding me to be still for a moment,
to stop and touch the eternal in the day,
to take a breath and offer myself to the mystery….
as the sun turns orange
and falls slowly down
into the billowing cotton layer
that covers the western ocean,
drawn up over the day like a soft blanket….
this one summons the night-shift:
the ones who will soar over us as we
live on in the darkness,
as we sleep,
and sometimes dance….
when the night is well-established,
their sounds, too, pierce the trying-to-be-silence:
shrill ghostly gliding white cries
of barn owls
and great horned owls
tracking their crawling prey….
if you’re outside walking in
that rare warm coastal air,
oohing and ahing over the surprising sharp blue glints
(priceless diamond stars making a
if you’re out there,
you can sometimes catch a glimpse
of white wings glowing high above you in the night,
coming in fast,
and soon gone –
right over your head,
without a sound….
but a sheerly distant whistle drifts somewhere behind
those silent wings,
leaving a certain trace
of untouchable presence….
on the very darkest nights,
there is one who comes to the roof-corner
right outside my room….
and even though the window might be closed
against the damp night air,
he announces his landing
with an unmistakable, commanding scree….
I am here for the night.
I sleep and wake
under the jurisdiction
of sacred wings….
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Beth Anne Boardman, RN, MA, PhD lives in California and New Hampshire. She travels and lectures on the Mythology of Sport; Women and Myth; and the Alchemy of Adolescence (her dissertation topic), in addition to consulting as a writer to websites.
Recently, Beth has served on the board of the Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association and as Regional Coordinator for local alumni. Her career spans work as a registered nurse, the study of world dance and music, and the profound joy of raising two children.