How to catch a laughing owl
In a midden lie the remains of bats,
once flushed from darkness, snatched
against blackened starlight
under the wing-hush of a laughing owl;
a shadow of a previous existence.
When one flyer is taken by another,
the moon-bright face of one, round,
eye-full, drinking the night's marrow
in dismal glances - it will not be
the owl who is caught.
The last bone-shrieks were lonely,
calls unanswered except perhaps by cat
or stoat, too strange and too late
to adapt a pattern of behaviour,
and would we, if we could, turn back,
reverse even our unintentional sins,
and at our play of might-have-beens
what history should we modify,
before extinction quietened and
we wonder what it is that now fills
each particular silence.
Image of a laughing owl (extinct for about 100 years): https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_zoology_of_the_voyage_of_the_H.M.S._Erebus_and_Terror_(6257851283).jpg