Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 10, 2010

I have long had a fascination with crows, esp. since they are often maligned. They are some of the most intelligent birds and have existed in many cultures and places around the world since ancient times. They appear in cave paintings in one form or another, and some believe that they may have crossed into North America accompanying the human hunters in some way. This is one of a series of poems where I explore the ancient and magical, yet benevolent and wise side of the crow.

Language of crows

Even on the days I don’t want to,

I make myself

take out the shoebox of words

and I think about the crows.

Remember the crows?

Oracles of the morning,

iridescent black voices

vollied “kaws” from tree to tree,

echoing off the canvas of our tents.

We called them our crows,

as if we could own them that summer.

Thought we understood their ancient tongue

percolating down the banks of the South Fork

syllables swallowed in river currents

lolled by its watery mouth

chewed up by boulders, beds of pebbles

and spit into channels of loamy soil

where we thought we discovered our pre-history

and where the crows came to feed.

The crows eyed us as they fed on the river shores

scratched out of the clay pans the ancient tales

that fortified their primitive spirits

their origins as old as our own.

They talked and laughed and sang to each other

our history, the world’s history,

the secrets of our future and what we were

to become.

Fall came, we packed our artifacts in boxes

abandoned the South Fork and promptly forgot.

The crow voices fell from the trees in cascades

red, gold, yellow and brown.

Buried but not forgotten.

Even now, we detect echoes in the distance

heard but not seen

And on those days , I have this shoebox

my secret cache of inky blackness

waiting to tell me something

in an iridescent tongue.

1 comment:

  1. Really liked this one, is it totally new, or the one you have been reworking a long time? Wonderful ending, liked the whole poem.