By Jane Gardner
Unwitting girls, caught in a slip of time,
Not ready to receive, still less to understand
The message the owl is beaming
Into this unearthly place.
Light starts to dim around him.
Over the chasm his eyes are fixed,
Never blinking nor wavering,
Leaving no doubt of his mission,
Yet not unkindly in the execution.
The girls stare back in wonder.
Helen sits quietly on the ledge;
Eleanor stands, alert to the possibilities.
Meaning is palpable; his steady look
Overrides the chaos beneath:
Underworld, his mythical home.
Night steals on. His wing unfurls: a signal –
Transition will come. But where? And when?
Intuition has told him;
Now he must tell them:
Recognise death – or, at least,
End to the present order.
Mystery, compounding mystery!
And then the moment is gone:
Intensity fades from his eyes;
Nocturnal shadows enfold them all,
So that only the mountain remains.