Friday, February 21, 2014

Seattle Seahawks 2014... and 1966

Picks Part 2 practically presentable; prepping to produce same soon. But first...

The Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII on my birthday, February 2, 2014--a terrific gift, thanks, and the first complete football game I've watched in over 20 years.

A week or so later, some lines kept popping up in my head, and then suddenly I remembered that, 48 years ago in 1966, ten years before Seattle's football team came into existence, I predicted the 'Hawks victory...

Well, sort of.

I was a fledgling poet at the time, and one day I got the idea to write a poem honoring the fierce sea hawk found in Western Washington... meaning the osprey: a good-sized fish-eating bird considered both rapacious attacker and staunch defender; a sharp-taloned, swoop-and-grab, fish-catcher hawk depicted in Northwest Coast Native American woodcarving--a swift and determined totemic creature deemed worthy to stand beside Eagle and Orca and Bear.

While there's not much official NFL language involved here, it doesn't require much imagination to recognize a Seahawk, a lop-sided victory (complete with Lombardi trophy), even an admiring but envious "12th Man":

The Catch

Anchored on sea-winds,
easily riding the air,
the fierce osprey balances,
mortally sharp and sure.
Talons arced, he stands--
a baleful barb, off-white--
poised there to cry praises
of his haggard sun's stare
or shriek the lure of night.
He scans long miles of air,
tangent to sky and sea,
then leaps to hurtle freely
down turbulent piles of light.

A greying blur, the osprey
plummets! Slashes a way,
fighting each buffet of air,
piercing through to his fish
that turns in water-light.
No liquid-dream barrier,
no bubbling gift of tongues,
can check his streaming glare.
The fish hawk dips and catches.

Now screaming arrogant songs
he strides back up the wind,
feeling the elements flow--
his air that burns all finned
and seaward things to ashes.
High where the dive began,
the writhing catch flashes.

On the nacreous beach below
I chafe my cold bones
and wish for sea hawk wings--
to soar; to fall... A man
past reach, I grope for dying
fish among the stones.

1 comment:

Lee Marvin Newland said...


Good poem. I had to look up NACREOUS, but it was worth the trouble.