The Grandmothers

Around the bed
where I lie
and try to sleep

stand generations
of grandmothers,
soft gray owls speaking to me
in all my native tongues at once,
and I understand none of it.  

My shame at being unable
to take what they offer
grows a snow storm,
a white-out inside me.

How dangerous my dreams are —
so dangerous I strive to convince myself
that they are nothing, that the fantastic
does not exist,

that the grandmother owls
crowding close,
hooting softly,
calling out to me,

are wind in the trees
and no more.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

3 responses to “The Grandmothers

  • Léa

    Absolutely love the image of the grandmothers as owls. My grandmothers both spoke different languages, one Welsh and the other Swedish.

    You will never convince yourself that the fantastic does not exist as you are alive with it and it is in your words! Brilliant!

  • Eileen

    Hearing the Owl call your name……..scary.
    Symbols of Wisdom, of Darkness, a Warning Call, Death.

    The Owl’s Warning
    a pet, a youngest son
    always spontaneous
    in the present moment
    sense of consequence
    no consideration
    all his possessions
    in the rain
    one time too many
    a father’s rules
    living now
    in his graduation car
    unknown for weeks
    pure anguish
    for his weary mother
    her last hope
    just to keep him alive
    until life
    taught him the hard way.
    fearful nights
    when the clear call of an owl
    always meant
    he was in some new trouble.

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