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Owls and Stars

Thank you to everyone who read my earlier post, and to those who left a comment. I appreciated your words so much. I decided to delete the post because I felt I was getting tangled up. January is always "the ditch of the year" to me, and I'm determined that while I'm down here this time I will look for stars in the dark water. I will rest on weedy shores and sing myself songs that will make the kind of skies I want for the year to come. I should tell you now what I'm telling myself - I don't want anything ordinary. The world (and the blog world) has plenty of ordinary.

Yesterday I read The Owl Service by Alan Garner for the first time. It was mesmerising, haunting, and not only in its story but in the way it was written. I especially loved how the most powerful elements were never actually seen. The mother, owls ... It was the kind of storytelling that makes me feel utterly clumsy with words and reminds me why I often am more comfortable with poetry - because you can make with it a silence from potency; you can write words that have been shocked and fractured by a force that is never actually seen and yet the whole poem, in its half-wrecked body, exists for it. The Owl Service was a poem, a rain against hillshadow, a moment after some wrong sound, a masterpiece.

It also reminded me profoundly of the house where I grew up, so there's that too.

illustration by darren hopes


  1. i have never read it, and your lyrical description makes me want tofind a copy posthaste!

  2. you have certainly whetted my appetite, will have to find it at our local library!


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