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Thursday, October 29, 2009


by Scot Siegel

A few little leaves alight on the sleeper wind
lemon, iron-orange, vermilion
but there’s no dive-swiping gnat-catching tonight

Some song birds sense the slack-season upon us
stillness readies the river, trees glimmer
and we lean uneasily into the quiet…

Three warblers balance on one blackberry cane
not ordinary warblers, Yellow-Breasted Chats
gone silent in the breeze –

There’s no yellow chip; no whistle, caw, nor rattle
just three imperceptible heartbeats screaming
through silver thorns & bramble –


Is their night not unlike our country?
Somewhere, a raptor hovers; drags her talons
over Arab neighborhoods, while we lie awake…

In my wife’s eyes a blue flame flickers
World News, a helicopter turns, delivering
or receiving the dead…

We hardly notice midnight passing over
as we tilt and spin on the dreadful wing of a hawk
who says she loves us?

Crows on our tail, relentless ––
I think I hear one say:
          come home…

Scot Siegel is an urban planner and poet from Oregon, where he serves on the board of trustees of the Friends of William Stafford. In celebration of Oregon’s Sesquicentennial, the Oregon State Library and Poetry Northwest recently selected Siegel’s Some Weather as one of Oregon’s Outstanding Poetry Books, one for each year of statehood. Pudding House released his chapbook Untitled Country earlier this year. Siegel’s poetry has received First Prize from the Oregon State Poetry Association and he was a semi-finalist for Nimrod International's Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize in 2008.