In Way Of The Hawk

Photograph by J.G.

In The Way of The Hawk

Remember the first time
I realized I might never again
feel the weight of a man
resting against me.  Loss,
sharp and heavy rising
from belly to chest, expanding
until ribs might crack.

On occasion, that thought
still surfaces, swims to shore
leaving light footprints
on sandy beach as they move
inland, where

a hawk drops from her perch
and earth reaches to swallow.
She unfolds her wings,
unwinds the wind, becomes one
with air that surrounds her.

Slow rhythmic circles of lazy
pleasure celebrate fact
that she can:

Fly alone.

Hawk would laugh at absurdity
of words I used to fear,
until she appeared to imprint
her pattern across my years.

She is.
I am.

“This,” she would tell me,
“is all that matters.”

*Originally published in Splitting Darkness: Poems by Elizabeth Crawford

Offered today for Poets United Think Tank poetry prompt: Animals

Process Notes for 6/9/11: The prompt asked what was the first thought at the word Animals? Furred, feathered, four-legged and more jammed into my head. Then this old poem separated from the jumble, accompanied by a much more recent photo taken by a friend in her backyard, and stayed. She was the first one to read the two shorter pieces that were finally put together and published in a chapbook outlining the grief process. Originally posted here two years ago, I figure it will be new to most of you, even though the photo might not be. Both are especial favorites for innumerable reasons.

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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13 Responses to In Way Of The Hawk

  1. jamblichus says:

    Beautiful and elegiac.


  2. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you and welcome to Soul’s Music. Your comment makes me feel good that I continue to do this thing, even after all of these years, and also like to mix old and new. This is an old piece, but remains a favorite for all kinds of reasons. I like that word “elegiac”. The poem was first published in a small volume about the grief process, the steps and missteps within it.



  3. Laurie Kolp says:

    Elizabeth~ Oh, I love this… one of my favorites of yours.

    Thank you much Laurie, it is certainly one of mine. Glad you enjoyed,



  4. Wow, Elizabeth, you KNOW how much I love this poem! I love love LOVE “She can fly alone. Solitary, Singular.” YES! “SWhe unfolds her wings, unwinds the wind”……..just beautiful. And the photo of the very beautiful and intelligent hawk is just stunning. Imagine your friend being this close to such a beauty!

    Sherry, she introduced me to the hawks, I had been so unaware until she came into my life. She knew I’d drool over it. We spent hours trying to get one clear shot of a hawk and never really got close. Love the pic and the poem is really very special to me. Thanks for your wonderful words,



  5. Judith Evans says:

    What a beautiful tribute to the healing power of nature’s wisdom. My own sorrows melted and my spirit soared with that “solitary”, “singular” hawk. Thanks for sharing this poem.

    Oh Judith, you just made a friend for life with that comment. So glad to meet you and to know that connection,



  6. Susannah says:

    This is really special Elizabeth, it touched me for so many reasons. I absolutely adore it! Wonderful writing. 🙂

    Thank you Susannah. The history of this poem is long and even a bit convuluted. But, it says something so important to me personally. And now I have been able to pair it with that magnificent photo and that history becomes entwined with the poem as well. Your tiger poem hit me in much the same fashion. We seem to be on a similar wavelength and that feels really good to me,



  7. Isabel Doyle says:

    a lovely response to the prompts, heartfelt and telling

    Thanks much Isabel, I certainly connected with your preying mantis poem. Glad you enjoyed,



  8. Mary says:

    Ah yes, Elizabeth, a stunning poem about a hawk..resonating your truths. You!

    I like:

    Fly alone


    She is
    I am.

    Thank you, my friend. Those are my favorites, but then this whole poem is a long time favorite. Loved your take on how some relationships never cease even through centuries of time.



  9. oh, lovely poem and photo. i too likee the line” She is , I am” wonderful”

    Sometimes wisdom is just so simple we almost miss it. Thanks for stopping by Isabel,



  10. Stunning image and words, Elizabeth…filled with truth and celebration!

    “She is…I am”

    So much said in those few words…wonderful…:)

    Thank you Lynette. I really liked your haiku and left the URL for a video you might like to watch. The hawks mean a great deal to me, especially this one. They give us a symbolic message, when we see them: “Remember who you really are.” And that is always a reason for celebration.



  11. This is magnificent … as is she, gloriously beautiful!

    Thank you Liz and welcome. And yes, she most certainly is.



  12. Pingback: Earth Day Challenge 4 | Soul's Music

  13. “She is./ I am. / “This,” she would tell me, / “is all that matters.” Brilliant.


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