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Mark Thalman, finalist in the first MMM Poetry Online & in print Contest




Emerging from mist, two field hawks

make a slow circular descent

as though sliding down

a spiral staircase.

Instead of riding thermals or hunting mice,

they glide lower than tree tops,

calling to each other,

sinking steadily to eye level.

Wheeling about me, they move gracefully

on opposite sides of the circle.

As in a trance, my golden retriever

is riveted to their orbits and neglects to bark.

Revolving around us, the red-tails

gradually begin to circle higher,

ascending like souls,

until they vanish into fog.

The strength of their wings sweeping the air is gone,

but burns clear in my memory.

The glint of sky reflecting in their eyes.

The light sifting from heaven.













Mark Thalman’s poetry has been widely published over the last three decades. His work has appeared in Carolina Quarterly, Chariton Review, CutBank, Natural Bridge, Pennsylvania Review, Sou’wester, Texas Review, Wisconsin Review, and Whetstone among others. He received his MFA from the University of Oregon, and he teaches English in the public schools. Mark lives in Forest Grove, Oregon, with his wife, Carole, and their two golden retrievers: Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie.