Natura Naturans

“Off with their heads,” the Red Queen said.
But she was mostly talk.
A true decapitator is
The little sharp-shin hawk.

I saw one once, a blue-bolt shot,
To seize a thrush in flight,
Then with steel talons pluck the head
And calmly take a bite.



True Worth

Homeless, he lived beneath an overpass.
Now dead, he rivals Gates and Bezos’ class.




Terry L. Norton is professor emeritus of literacy education at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where he taught courses in literature for children and young adults. Publications include the following books: Cooking with Mother Goose, 50 Literacy Strategies for Beginning Teachers K-8, and Cherokee Myths and Legends: Thirty Tales Retold.

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4 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    Terry, I’ve seen a sharp-shin hawk in my own back yard. It’s welcome to all the sparrows it can catch, but if it ever flies off with my beloved cardinal, then it shall quickly learn what it means to be preyed upon. Nice stuff, and I hope to see more in the fullness of time.

  2. David Watt

    Terry, I am more familiar with the deadly precision of peregrine falcons. However, your verse, featuring the sharp-shin hawk, brings to mind my memory of this vision. Well done!


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