Kate Deimling

Pine Row Issue No. 7 Summer 2023 - Featured Poet

Barn Owl



I’d swear it’s an alien:

concave face,


humanoid eyes,

unearthly white glow


of feathers

too smooth to be feathers.


Dizzying spots sheathe

this tentative wing


it lifts like an arm,

in greeting or warning


I do not know.

Bizarre bird


perched in towering pine

as dusk leaches last light,


disturbing, dappled thing,

rod-stiff, silent,


whose eyes probe the darkening

where I stand in disbelief,


what do you want from me?

About this poem:  as shared by the poet

This poem was actually inspired by a photograph I saw online. The barn owl’s face was so strange, flat, and mysterious that I felt as if I had come upon an otherworldly creature. I wanted to write about it, so I imagined an encounter in the woods at dusk. I don’t usually write in couplets, but I liked how they looked for this poem. I wanted to capture an imagined moment in time and express a feeling of fascination and bewilderment. 

Kate Deimling is a poet, writer, and French translator. Her poems have appeared in Slant, Notre Dame Review, Tar River Poetry, Naugatuck River Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Plainsongs, and other magazines. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and is an associate poetry editor for Bracken

Find her online at www.katedeimling.com.

-- now accepting submissions for the next issue -- 

© Pine Row Press | privacy policy