Pain is an Owl

In the silver silent dead

Of a lethargic night,

Pain is an owl caught in a dazzling headlight,


Whose glaring eyes of red

Steer gliding flight on white wing

Towards the cold metallic glimmer of morning.


Pain twists like an owl’s head,

Grips with talons of crushing power,

Tears with the sharpness of a beak like a scissor.


When the moon-faced owl has fled

And the agonising soundless howl diminished,

Only then is it certain that the suffering has finished.


© Kim M. Russell, 2016


Image found on Pinterest

My response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry challenge #49: Painful silence

Jane has asked us to write a poem of at least three stanzas of three lines each using the rhyme scheme: abb acc add aee. The challenge is to write a poem about silence and pain, physical and emotional. We’ve all suffered pain of one sort or another and it could be a productive exercise to channel the emotions generated by pain into a poem and create something beautiful from it.

16 thoughts on “Pain is an Owl

    1. Thanks, Jane. The owls at the bottom of our garden are so elusive. I hear them during the night but I haven’t caught even a glimpse this year. When we still had our dog, I used to walk him late at night and very early in the morning, and on several occasions I’d be walking down the lane to the river and an owl would come gliding towards me and over my head. Beautiful ghost birds!


  1. When we had our dairy farm when I was a child we had 4 owls on there I use to think they were couples cause they were always paired 2 at the barn and 2 down near the silo but anyway the barn owls were brown and the silo owls were white with black spots but we couldn’t close enough to them to see anything else about them…they were awesome…I have some photos of them back in Texas stuck in an old shoe box of things from the farm when I get back I will go through them to see if I can find the photos and post them. Thanks Kim for reminding me of a time I had forgotten. Have a good rest of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

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