Eight Owls for Hieronymus Bosch

EIGHT OWLS FOR HIERONYMUS BOSCH

1.
Between the inward and outward wave upon the shore
a rhythm in feathers that wasn’t here before
called into being its substance and its law.

2.
Between the masculine and feminine,
between the how of her and why of him
came one with wings who shamed the seraphim.

3.
Out from opposing poles that brought us here
with eyes of sun and moon that knew no tear
a tremulous presence maintained the biosphere.

4.
Between one nation’s customs and the next
a primal entity that left the scholars vexed
denied in its descent the doctrine of each text.

5.
In the skewed trajectories of time and space
it roosted aloof and in the darkest place
rotated the clock of its expressionless face.

6.
The wood has ears, the field has eyes, and dawn
reveals the eyes in every ear of corn
that scan our thoughts, their verdict full of scorn.

7.
It is the decoy to all you think is true,
to everything you ever thought you knew;
the one note in its voice asks Who are you?

8.
Both the signal to a secret and a lure,
it hears the silence of a spider on the floor
and sees most clearly when it’s most obscure.