If I were an owl, flying high,
what would I think, what would I think if I
saw me* dancing, dancing
high on a hill, alone in the dark,
under a star-filled sky?

If I were an owl hunting for mice, so crunchy, so sweet,
what would I think, what would I think if I
heard me singing, singing
high on a hill, alone in the dark,
under a star-bright sky?

'No moon! No moon!' I might cry, if I
were an owl, 'She can't be a witch
for there's no moon,
she's too many clothes,
she's got no broom,
and she can't fly!

If I were an owl and I heard me sing, singing a song
in a tongue unknown, I would sing too,
and my wordless song would come echoing back
from the nearby hills to me dancing, dancing
there on the starlit track.

If I were an owl, soaring high, what would I see?
What I would see, if I saw me, is a fat old lady
in too many clothes (it's cold enough, tha certainly knows)
doing her thing, with a light-full heart,
under a star-filled sky


*If you are confused about who
is the owl and who is 'me' I can
only say: it's OK, you're meant to be.

It was my 58th birthday, a bright frosty October night with a full moon, and I went dancing (as I often did at the full moon) up on a single-track road overlooking the pass at Rest-and-Be-Thankful. As I danced to my own singing, an owl swooped around me, also singing. I'd been very ill that summer and would have to leave Scotland for drier climes before true winter, so I was doubly grateful to the owl for dancing and singing to celebrate with me. When I got home around midnight I wrote this.

Copyright © 1995 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.
This poem was first published in Earth's Daughter (see book list)

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