One of the last times I visited Dad we went on a drive in his Oldsmoblie
like we used to do when I was a child and he took me on his daily round
as a salesman across the flat white fields of Michigan and he would pass
the time driving by bird watching for which he had farsighted eyes and
a genius for discovering sleek form in landscape and this time he looked
out to see in the bleak flatness a great snowy owl I would never have seen
without him and commented in the late 1980’s to see the owl so far south.

Now on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Forever War
detention site, Guantanamo I see on the YAHOO! scrawl that the latest big
polar vortex breakdown sent a huge snow storm down into the U.S. south
(apparently) carrying a “snowy” white owl all the way down to Washington
D.C. where it is seen flying around downtown and perching I then imagine
on various Federalist style buildings this perfect white flecked arctic vision
of the ancient female personification of wisdom from both myth and bible
looks out over the imperial center of our Current Age Empire of global bases
that has become the horizon line of legal black hole that ensued at the OLC
(Office of Legal Counsel) when the Geneva Conventions were called obsolete
and “legal” memos written to make torture, murder, and mass surveillance
legal (the Patriot Act apparently again being insufficient to fulfill right wing
wing nut wish list to take away all human rights) and yet an owl, yes an owl
with white tipped winter feathers and with those great huge see through
the “verte” distance eyes that look through two decades of endless cover up
(in plain sight) that have left us, the U.S. trapped about for the last two years
in seeming infinite pandemic of business “community” disinformation
in control of U.S. government policy from its no think tanks and propaganda
machine of lies, of cancer cigarettes, asbestos mesothelioma, lead in the kids
water, pollution in the pill mills, global overheating with global the economy
of reserve currency dollar funding war machine of global ecological collapse
the Big Burp that could be the Last Gasp, of the eyes of ancient wisdom looking
out from white tipped feathers of peace, oh great long distance owl of the
ice disappearing, oh, ancient symbol of contemplation open us to your holy
presence and meaning, oh, holy female personification of wisdom be with us
                                   Arctic Owl Voyager
                                   Of the Polar Vortex
                                      Break Down


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.