Wednesday, November 4, 2015

POEM: "The Osprey"

The Osprey

                                    Guan guan cry the ospreys
                                    On the islet in the river.

                                    from Shi Jing (The Book Of Songs) 7th cent. BCE

Athena carries King Pandion to safety in Megara
A rehabber rescues an osprey fallen prey to our debris

A rest from the shit the oil slick the plastics the DDT
She should be mesmerizing fish with her razor feet

Greetings from the Blancan the seas are getting colder
A cousin’s claw fossil 2½ million years old says hello

She asks you if hubris is the left side of madness
Whether it brings ruin to the “sovereignty of nature”

Like grabbing hold of a fish so heavy it will drown me
The waters rising over my old heart getting colder

The sun shines in her eyes she shades them with a wing
Tomorrow the shoals of decent fish who dream of light

99% of the moon illuminated and the waters are calm
The sky big & clear tonight who knows how late this is

                                                         for Charles Causey in Islamorada

© 2013 Rob Schackne

photo: Charles Causey


  1. Finding the right quote to launch off a poem can be so important. I love that "guan, guan." Beautiful choice.


  2. guān
    seems is the modern variant
    it means to close/shut/turn off
    given the context of the poem
    yearning for a lady
    not being able to get her
    it is apt enough
    however (and a day)
    I leave you to imagine
    how a closing like this
    should begin this poem