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Today, when I came home, I saw feathers floating down into the front lawn. At first one, then more, gently floating down into the front yard. Grey feathers, tufty and light. At first I thought it was just a random feather or two, but they kept falling. My eyes followed the trail of them, hovering in the air, up to a walnut tree. There I saw a hawk, deliberately and systematically plucking his prey.
I sat and watched him for several minutes as he worked, high in the winter-barren tree.
I thought about how the image of a floating feather usually connotes whimsy and graceful movement, imagination and beauty, and how this moment had such an underlying meaning to it.
I could dwell on the harshness of nature or feel for the captured prey, but my mind accepted it, as part of the balance in nature- strong and weak, hunter and prey, creature and sustenance. I listened to other birds peeping and thought of the hawk providing for its young.
Images weigh heavily with me. Most all of the poetry I have ever written has been rife with image and metaphor. I admire the Imagist movement of Ezra Pound and Amy Lowell. So it was interesting to have such a clear example of how simple images can be misleading. This wasn’t an instance of whimsy or dream-like manifestations- this was evidence of reality- veiled.
I still prefer to seek out the impossible and the imaginative rather than dwelling in reality alone- in my own perceptions, but I find it interesting when things are revealed for what they truly are.