Snow its pale tossed
whiteout and bare dark twigs
snow as habitat
soft and cool as cotton grass heads
fused to a branch
sifting the pulse of the forest
its cold metallic resinous breath
face a sounding board for silence
voice hollow as bird bones
hinged on night
paragliding the gloom
hemlock redwood lodgepole cedar
Marilyn Donovan is a retired librarian living in Kent. Her poems have been published in many magazines and several anthologies, including In the Telling (Cinnamon) and Bugged…Writings from Overhearings (Bell Jar). Her debut collection was A Calculus of Balance: poems after Piet Mondrian (Limpet). She has won or been placed in several competitions, including Canterbury Poet of the Year and the Wirral Festival of Firsts. ‘Snowy Owl’ was inspired by a beautiful bird seen on a trip to the Pacific North-West.
‘Snowy Owl’ won first prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (April 2021), judged by Mary Anne Smith Sellen.