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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hungry Peregrine

Hawk Roosting

I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.

Inaction, no falsifying dream

Between my hooked head and hooked feet:

Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.

The convenience of the high trees!

The air’s buoyancy and the sun’s ray

Are of advantage to me;

And the earth’s face upward for my inspection.

My feet are locked upon the rough bark.

It took the whole of Creation

To produce my foot, my each feather:

Now I hold Creation in my foot

Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly—

I kill where I please because it is all mine.

There is no sophistry in my body:

My manners are tearing off heads—

The allotment of death.

For the one path of my flight is direct

Through the bones of the living.

No arguments assert my right:

The sun is behind me.

Nothing has changed since I began.

My eye has permitted no change.

I am going to keep things like this.

By Ted Hughes - From his book,  'Lupercal' (1960).


  1. Imagine having the skill to stand on a tightrope and rip apart a body half your size with your bare teeth! :) Seriously, though, these are great photos. I love these birds. Watching a peregrine dive and take out its prey is an amazing sight. All of the other birds panic - it reminds me of what happens when a ghost car turns on its siren and lights in rush hour traffic...

  2. What a tremendous poem. What a wordsmith. He obviously observed and admired hawks to capture their nature so deliberately. You know, Mark, a photo can capture many thousands of words but in the hands of a master, a few words can say a lot. Now I am going to have to find the book...Thank you.

  3. What gorgeous plumage...the last photo reminds me of an Alex Colville painting - the soft, and surreal, flight-feather edges, and the multi-layered story in the pose...very moving shot!

  4. Gnarls Barkley is fantastic! I've never heard him before...what a melancholy and spooky song. Gotta check him out. He reminds me of Moby. Thank you!

  5. Mark, I really appreciate gritty songs and rugged singers; ones that tell a story, carry the weight of passion, poetry, reason and reality combined with a complex, layered sound. Thank you for introducing me to Gnarls Barkley. Some of my favorites are: Greg Allman's "Devil Got my Woman" (that one will make your hair stand on end); Johnny Cash singing "Redemption Day" in his growly old man voice; Steve Earle's "Me and the Eagle" (one of my favorites); Brandi Carlile belting out "The Story"; and pretty much anything by David Francey or Moby. As a teenager, in the days before Goth chicks, I spent a lot of time expressing my angst by being immersed in Steinbeck and protest songs. Now I still feel the angst, and I can appreciate it, but some days I just don't have patience for it...I'm just not so good at waiting around :)