Athena, Flying Her Owl

Bronze statuette of Athena flying her owl, c. 460 BCE

Athena’s owl flits, invisible visitor,
from poet to scientist,
inspiring brilliance.
Her night journey grows exhausting -—
so many minds,
secret geniuses hidden in the crowd.
Their light’s worth spotting,
Each one unique, human creatures endangered
by their own proliferation,
blurring their kindly lights
into one night sky.

Athena dreams all,
her compassion for creativity
and inquiring minds
moving her to save their hard-won human wisdom
with the aid of her owl,
a tiny observer whose keen sight spots
all our daily sparks of insight —
that eureka moment, that a-ha!
when the brain leaps into the universe,
lifting off on the silvery wings
of Athena’s owl.

[Adele Gardner ( has poems in Strange Horizons, Pedestal Magazine, American Arts Quarterly, and more. A cat-loving cataloging librarian, Adele is literary executor for father, mentor, & namesake Delbert R. Gardner.]