That hooting bird who has been hanging around for over a year now has been calling all day today. I'm beginning to suspect that it is some sort of owl, even though I only hear it in the daytime, but I have no idea what species it would be. It sounds owl-like enough, but I've never been able to get a look at it, even when it has been nearby. It seems to like to remain concealed, although maybe it's just that my eyes have gotten so bad that I can't pick it out. It sounds like it keeps to the branches near the tops of the pine trees. The call is a bit mournful, especially since I've heard others of its kind only a couple of times. But at least it isn't as disturbing as the croak of the magpie. I'm really glad I don't have a magpie sounding off as often as this hooter does.
Counting the Magpie
by Lorna Crozier
“Souls of poets dead and gone.” - Keats Warm-blooded explosion into air, breath spinning into matter, becoming bird, long-tailed exactness of black and white. Its feet are tar-walkers, waders into lightlessness precisely deep. How heavy the soul is in that feathered body! How it loves its weight, its magus head conjuring beauty in spilled blood and carcass, in blowfly scab. Death-feeder song-spoiler the stretched-like-sinew sound you can’t make into music – count the magpie, the soul’s raw cry that needs no other’s singing: one, and one, and one.