Friday, August 16, 2019

Poetry Friday -- Trees



The hawks are whistling.
Every morning I listen,
wonder, imagine.

The nest, constructed
in a pignut hickory,
is hidden and safe.


Hawks in the city
remind us we are not far
from the wild. Ever.

Are they as aware
of me as I am of them?
I capture moments:

Whistling and screeing,
piercing dives through tree branches,
perching on our fence.


Every hope broken --
hickory falls in the storm.
Hawk home is destroyed.

Morning after. Sun.
Mournful hawks call tree to tree,
"Our babies...lost...gone."

I hear, on day two...
three hawks! Three means one survived!
Next day I see four!


Listen -- can you hear
hawks in your neighborhood trees?
Listen with your heart.

Wonder -- they survive:
paramount in the food chain,
tree top predators.

Imagine -- next year
another nest, another success...
perhaps in your oak.

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2012

This "hawku" poem is about hawks. But it couldn't be about hawks if there weren't big trees in our part of the city, as well as plentiful chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, and possums. So much depends on the natural order of food chains and food webs, plants and animals, birds and insects, clean air and clean water. Let's care for and speak for our tiny corners of the planet. In this way, like a quilt, maybe we can keep the whole thing stitched together. Maybe.

Christie has this week's #fortheloveoftrees - themed Poetry Friday roundup at Wondering and Wandering.


  1. Hawku! My favorite: "every hope broken" -- so it goes in nature... thank you! xo

  2. I really love everyone one of these, Mary Lee. A hawk sometimes perches on our deck. These lines are something I've always wondered about: Are they as aware/
    of me as I am of them?
    I have a feeling the hawk is very aware. : )

  3. "like a quilt, maybe we can keep the whole thing stitched together"-love this final thought! While the poem had its sad moments, the ending brought such hope. We are the guardians of the environment so we need to be vigilant.

  4. Maybe we can keep the whole thing stitched together. Love this. We have a hawk hanging around. I haven't noticed more than one. It's beautiful to watch it glide from tree to tree. The format of this is so original. I am touched by act 3.

  5. Thanks for sharing your beautiful hawk poetry. I recently saw my first red-tailed hawk and then a second, days later, in an entirely different location. I wonder if perhaps I just hadn't 'been looking before. "Let's care for and speak for our tiny corners of the planet. In this way, like a quilt, maybe we can keep the whole thing stitched together." Such an important message. Pay attention, "listen with your heart" and care for that part of the world that surrounds us. Great post, Mary Lee.

  6. I love the hawks who circle high above our pastures, seeing what we cannot see. "Listen with your heart" ... how I love and want to live the very idea....

  7. Love your "hawku" poem–story, and so glad that there are four and two young ones to continue on. Yes, let's "keep the whole thing stitched together," thanks Mary Lee!

  8. I too love your "hawku" poem and agree that we must stand up for and protect our small part of our quilt/planet.
    We see the occasional hawk or eagle, but mostly in our urban neighbourhood, we have crows!

  9. Love your hawku and the interconnectedness of everything. From out in the country to deep in the city. I’ve been reading about someone’s trial with feral cats. I was unaware that they significantly diminish the bird populations.

  10. Listen with your heart....for those beautiful tree top predators. What a journey in these short hawku. Beautiful writing.

  11. I love every bit of this post, Mary Lee. Thank goodness all was well with these hawks; I was nearly in tears! Yes to caring and speaking "for our tiny corners of the planet."

  12. I always enjoy your Friday poetry, but this series touches my heart and soul.
    What a wonderful end to a difficult week for me. Reminder to cling to hope and stay aloft.

  13. Act 2 reminds me of Planet Earth, Cities episode. We are under the illusion that we are more separate than we are.
    Our family went to a raptor talk recently where we saw hawks who had been hit by cars (some caused by people throwing food out the windows of cars which attract rodents which attract raptors).
    "Perhaps in your oak" is a lovely ending.

  14. We had a neighbor who used to leave meat scraps in his front yard for the local hawk. I confess, I'm still not sure how I feel about my neighbor doing that, but it WAS a magnificent bird.

    1. PS, Loved your poem, Mary Lee! Will keep my ears, eyes, and heart open. :)


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