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Hawk Moths on a Migrant Night
Susan Rooke

One warm and amber night, the liquid air
a tepid cup of tea, an unexpected blizzard
swirls beneath the eaves, pale moths
whirling through the cone of porch light.
We are called outdoors into this storm
by a distant, abstracted drone, as if
each moth transports migratory winds
in the forest of its fur. We witness
their famished longing when they fall
upon the blooms mounding a terra cotta pot,
forming a snowdrift that rustles, suckling.
We are drawn to them, these wild, unlikely
travelers, cloaked against some somber future
year, stronger than their filamental limbs
would appear to us. We, who are far more
inclined to fling ourselves in want and fear
into the light, to tear our wings to pieces
seeking whatever nectar we imagine there.

© by Susan Rooke.
Used with the author’s permission.


Susan Rooke lives in Austin, Texas.  Despite her normal façade, she’s always been interested in the mysterious and odd, and has completed the first novel of a fantasy series. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in The Texas Poetry Calendar 2013, Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine, San Pedro River Review, and on Austin Capital Metro buses.  She and her husband of almost 30 years (who indulges her interests without subscribing to them himself), spend as much time in the mountains of West Texas as possible.


Post New Comment:
Linguistic music at its finest. Thank you, Susan.
Posted 08/11/2013 03:24 PM
I love the beautiful sense of innate urgency in this poem.
Posted 08/11/2013 02:36 PM
Ginny C.:
Gorgeous poem,and the ending gives it depth.
Posted 08/11/2013 11:08 AM
Janet Leahy:
Exquisite images and language, thank you Susan.
Posted 08/11/2013 10:52 AM
Larry Schug:
It is important to chronicle these natural events before they succumb to the demise of the natural world that humans seem so bent on accomplishing. To do this in such beautiful language may help us realize that "you don't know what you've got til it's gone" and perhaps do something about it. Good work. thank you.
Posted 08/11/2013 09:55 AM
Ross Kightly:
A poem of marvellous density of image and linguistic music - and like other readers, I must now admit to a new way of looking at moths....
Posted 08/11/2013 09:11 AM
Fine images, precise language: I'll never look at moths the same way again.
Posted 08/11/2013 08:52 AM
This poem is a reminder of how poetry can bring us not only to places we can't imagine going, but, without the welcoming poem, places we wouldn't be slightly interested in visiting. This is encompassed in these lines: We are called outdoors into this storm by a distant, abstracted drone, as if each moth transports migratory winds in the forest of its fur. The language does its job--she invites me into places I had no idea I'd visit. I go and enjoy myself. Bravo!
Posted 08/11/2013 08:50 AM

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