The European Bee-eater’s Nest: A few directions for construction by Catherine Owen

Butterfly on the Pavement© 2012 Devin McCawley 


The European Bee-eater’s Nest: A few directions for construction


Make a mouth with your mouth.
This is not as easy as it sounds.
Then. Eat up the darkness.
Well don’t exactly eat it.
Just. Move it out.
Shift its locale.
There is a lot of darkness.
You’ll be surprised.
Nothing is really
That simple.
Keep moving inward.
Your mouth may be
Tired by now.
But look!
A whole throat.
And here is where you place
What you came to do.
It will be safe here.
As safe as anything
Can be
That has shoved aside
The dark.


Poem from a lyrical/artistic collaboration with Edmonton
multimedia artist Sydney Lancaster called NEST. An interview with
her about her work on aspects of the project here:

Beyond this sequence of directions on how to make a particular kind of burrow nest
is a symbol of how we live or don’t live: devouring our nightmares, or shouldering them to one side,
wanting to lay our imagined innocence in a soft, hollowed-out space, free from dirt.
Impossible? An ideal? A terror?
The form of the poem echoing the shape of the certain bird’s nest
& its quest to enter, adventure, seek the dark one way or another.
What I hope for here.

Catherine Owen from Vancouver BC is the author of nine collections of poetry, the most recent being Frenzy (Anvil Press 2009), Seeing Lessons (Wolsak & Wynn 2010) and the chapbook Steve Kulash & other Autopsies (Angelhousepress 2012). Her latest book is memoirs and essays called Catalysts: confrontations with the muse (W & W, 2012). In the Fall, Anvil will release her book of medieval/metal poems known as Trobairitz. Frenzy won the Alberta Book Prize and other collections have been nominated for the BC Book Prize, the Re-lit, the CBC Prize, & the George Ryga Award. In 2011-2012, she wrote five songs for the eco-musical Awakening the Green Man, collaborated with multi-media artist Sydney Lancaster on Nest, served as an art model for photographer Paul Saturley and started a blog at called The Relentless Adventures of OCD Crow. Owen edits, tutors, has cats, plays bass in Medea, composes with the Lyrical Outlaws, lives with Warren Dean Fulton, with whom she runs Above&Beyond Productions, and walks daily by the Fraser River. Her web home is

Posted on by catherineowen Posted in Poetry, Writing

One Response to The European Bee-eater’s Nest: A few directions for construction by Catherine Owen

  1. Pingback: Transgressive & Excellent Literature & Art « The Relentless Adventures of OCD Crow