THE UNINVITED

Wide-eyed and moon faced,
a sometimes sideways glance or half
turn I take, barely noticed,

after-images itself.
Each misstep mirrors a presence
that, seen in passing,

un-eases me.
Premonition or illusion, re
cognized in hesitation:

what never was
comes back to haunt.
What could have been

bears a grudge.
Between seen and scene,
the present slips away.

The past unappeased,
sends an emissary, the future
fails to call.

So, Owl, in this troubled
recurrent breach,
on this winding path,

in daylight, as I look up
you stand
as disoriented in sighting me,

as I, you. Shuffling back
through the weed-busted roof
and towering bamboo,

you stay with me,
mute, dumbfounded,
a messenger

without a message.
Except for one of your remarkable feathers
With it, in hand, in the bent

depths of night,
I’ll trace mid-air this dull cage
and dunce that I am,

unmoored and stranded,
without the vision
to see words through to the end,

hang myself inside,
upside down,
blood rushing to my head,

and call it,
for want of a way out:
a way out

As your desolate
unforeseen whooo!
abandons me

there

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