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Image by lilartsy

            The owl squared up and not benign:
there’s eyes and eyes and a way
             of looking past brown feathers to
                       beak and claw.

Mottled is not enough of a word
             for its brow, the pocked feathers
             around the face; led up to
by dark lines, like scratches at
                        the throat.

           It favours the twitch of ear
to wisdom, prefers the scuttle
           of rodent to the big moon.
We give it a ridiculous call -
                        as if Hoot were close -

Tu-whit-tu-whoo does no favours,
              but we try. Listen to the way the word
              Screech might hold in the dusk,
                          might frighten, as it should.

Andrea Holland has two collections of poetry in the UK, Broadcasting (Gatehouse Press) and a chapbook, Borrowed (Smith/Doorstop Press) as well as individual poems in both UK and US journals and anthologies, including 'Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology' (Long Horse Press) and Roger: Art & Literary magazine in the U.S and The World Speaking Back: Poems for Denise Riley, The Rialto, The North and amongst other UK publications. She's lived in the USA for 15 years, but resides in Norwich, UK and teaches part time at the University of East Anglia. She sits on the Board of the European Association of Creative Writing Programs and has both practiced and published on collaboration and cross-arts practice.

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