Due to technical difficulties the Sermon for 18th November was not posted.We apologise for any suffering this may have caused. Normal programming has been resumed..

That long, low, throbbing call.


Woop-woop woop-woop woop-woop woop-woop!


Now it’s Spring and every night

I hear a young frogmouth owl

calling endlessly in the trees.

Out of the silence and darkness

his hollow drumming pulses sound

like some forgotten instrument,

alien yet familiar still,

the archaic relative to the

bullroarer perhaps,

or maybe the didgereedoo.


Woop-woop woop-woop woop-woop woop-woop

woop-woop woop-woop woop-woop..


There’s a pause for maybe ten seconds,

to catch his breath and perhaps

to listen for a reply, and then he starts again,


Woop-woop woop-woop woop-woop..


Sometimes I count the calls.

One long burst he went and double-Wooped

twenty-seven times without a break.

With single-minded persistence

Over and over again till dawn

he sings his simple song.

Each night I sit alone

writing in my kitchen

and listen to him calling

and never receiving an answer.

It’s such a mournful sound

to hear, throbbing in the quiet,

still hours of the night,

like he and I are the only ones awake

in all the sleeping world,

the Sentinels of Solitude.


I find myself listening,

hoping for some response.

Yes, I strain my ears

on his behalf

in hope to hear

some faint answering call

from the edges of hearing.

I dream at last some feathered

Frogmouth femme-fatale

will finally respond

to his heroic chanting.

Then back and forth they’ll call

their ancient music, till, homing in like sonar

she’ll enter his domain on silent wings.

They’ll form a bond and build a nest

and raise a brood of

Frogmouth fledglings,

hungry and foolish,

and content in his role as paterfamilias

my unseen friend will finally cease

that long, low, throbbing call

that makes the nights so lonely.


Woop-woop woop-woop woop-woop..


*This poem is dedicated to the memory of “Tuttle”, beloved family familiar

for many years, who recently passed away quietly in her sleep.

She has returned to the Great Forest of the Dreamtime.



The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet and an ordained Minister of  The Church of Spiritual Humanism AND the Church of the Universe.

It passes the Time.



~ by reverendhellfire on November 25, 2012.


  1. May Tuttle & his Lady Femme-Fatale fly about amongst Heaven’s clouds…

    • Thank you for the sentiment.
      Actually, Tuttle was a “Grande Dame”, but she had her “Gentleman caller” who would sit on a nearbye branch and call to her. Then they’d fly off into the trees,but she would always return at dawn for a snack, and then settle on her favourite perch, the ironing board.
      After Tuttle passed on, a couple of days later we found the body of her “Gentleman caller” under the branch where he used to call to her.
      A broken heart I guess he went to join her, two more shadows in the night.

  2. What an amazing poem! Wow!

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