Hawks II


Hawks’ meaty thighs, pantaloons, beaks, the sharp eyes indented

so sharply under their hawk brows– and those talons: what an over-glory of



The ravishing yellow shagreen toes of Red-tailed Hawks boast bright black ever-

extended tiger claws for talons, enormous for the bird’s size and absolutely lethal.

Of Hawks I’d never say: I’ve had enough.

Hawks know preternatural concentration.

Hawks don’t know Mondays, hangovers, bills, or taxes.


Conversations are non-starters with raptors:

And then I saw you!

                                      Took you long enough

I think humans aspire to hawkness—speed, sight, dispatch, beauty—

                                      Get a grip

Mr. Hawk, when you swoop, when you grab your prey, how’s that make you

                                      I am not a Mister

Ms. Hawk, when you swoop and grab your prey, how’s that make you feel?



Hawks, who would seem so at home in the night sky, are not. They are diurnal

animals, which makes me think: Hawks sleeping? Hawks dreaming?

Hawks might dream of soft mouse nests or of raking a hot air balloon with one sharp

talon, or perhaps of just landing atop one.

Maybe hawks dream of lighting fires or of mirrors. Or they might dream of

being up in the night, catching bats.

Hawks in the starlight would be too much glitter: too alive, hawks already

evanesce, they hold light like reverse glass paintings, gleaming, untouchable.


The heart of the word Hawk is awe.


Hawks cannot smile
Hawks would not smile


I’d sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk. — Robinson Jeffers


Read more from BKE’s Hawk Series here.

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