How to Build an Owl

1.) Decide you must.

2.) Develop deep respect
for feather, bone, claw.

3.) Place your trembling thumb
where the heart will be:
for one hundred hours watch
so you will know
where to put the first feather.

4.) Stay awake forever.
When the bird takes shape
gently pry open its beak
and whisper into it: mouse.

5.) Let it go.

~ Kathleen Lynch, “How to Build an Owl” from How to Build an Owl and other poems

Notes: Poem, thank you Hammock Papers. Photo: “White-faced Owl“ by | Patrick Monatsberger


  1. Well, that was a hoot…beautiful, seriously. I just couldn’t resist

    Liked by 4 people

  2. freddiegeorgia says:

    Delightful! Owl the heck you do that? (…….mouse)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. fantastic –

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sawsan says:

    I can’t. No Words…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nan Morrissette says:

    Blessings upon you again, David for guiding me to a better spirit place today after last night’s news. The horror of watching Sessions and his goons announce their new orders to separate babies and young children from their mothers in their insane deportation madness stunned and sickened me. My heart wants daily to just give up. Your daily offerings truly help. Nature always, always heals me. Thank you for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am utterly captivated by owls, so this delighted me to no end, DK. I was *just* listening to one calling in the woods around midnight last night…the sound pierces me…so soulful, and so very old.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Just WOAW…. leaves me breathless with awe – the sheer beauty of it all!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Number 3. Wow! Think about that a minute.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never read better instructions. Someone must have pried open your mouth and whispered, “poem.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah, I see I have erred. Kathleen’s mouth, I should have said. But thank you so much for sharing this, or I would never have gotten to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A hoot indeed! Thank you for the smile and new perspective 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  12. inspiring
    thank you, Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Haha, I like this. By the bye, I had a Hawaiian day-flying Pueo owl cross in front of me the other day while I was driving – and it looked into the car as it flew by and straight at me. What a gift!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ah hah! That’s it! Something whispered, “Cheetos” into my mouth!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t have to build one. He’s right outside my window looking at me.

    Liked by 1 person

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