Eric Fisher Stone

The Ecstasy of Owls

The sleep
Of reason is not darkness, but another kind of light.
—Sophocles, from Antigone, Don Taylor trans.

The owl gazes from an oak,
his clockwork face grandfathered
in wood. When the park is closed

for visitors, the barred owl murders
the wind, whisking to powerlines,
clasping and slurping a vole.

To make an owl, one must multiply
infinity by mottled twigs,
spells of unreason, beak,

talon, and nightly queries,
Who cooks for you? hooted
to the moon’s hammock.

Naming the darkness between planets,
he glides the wordless country
before birth, after death, beyond

jade jungles with undiscovered frogs,
white shingles of polar caps.
His wings blaze like gossamer fire

from burst stars where grass spurs
in terrible pleasure, and the world
turns in the black cherries of his eyes.


Eric Fisher Stone is a poet and writing tutor from Fort Worth, Texas, USA. He received his MFA. in creative writing and the environment from Iowa State University. His poetry collection, The Providence of Grass, was published by Chatter House Press in 2018. His second book of poems, Animal Joy, is forthcoming from WordTech Editions in October 2021.