Thursday, April 11, 2019

WHAT CROW SAYS--a poem for National Poetry Month

I have a strong propensity for crows. They're birds that don't get the love and respect that other birds do because they're not as flashy in appearance and their voices are harsher, even though they are classified as songbirds.

Crows are intelligent, can make tools and remember the faces of those humans who have been a threat to them or their community, even have rituals to mourn their dead. They often bring us messages of wisdom from the Creator and show us the way when we need guidance.

This poem is the first in a sequence of mine called "First Cousins Speak." In these poems, some of our relatives in the larger world discuss humans, those troubled, puzzling late-come additions to Creation.


This is how gods are made.
The land is wild and free,
soil just beginning to cover the warm rock.
One day, the stone lights up
with the dreams of animals.
Out of the shining,
something other awakens.
These things happen so easily.
Nature is crowded,
everything intent on being warm.
Who knew what damage dreams could wreak?

This furless, clawless thing created
from whatever’s wasted or not wanted in us,
we watched it arise
walking on two feet like Bear
but so weak and slow.
Bear can outrun a horse,
kill a deer with one blow.
It should have died but didn’t.
Some tenacity kept it alive
and breeding and changing
the very world around it

We all spoke the same language
until that changed, too.
Now we’re left with consequences.
Now we are the other,
everything other to this being.
We are the constant target in the crosshairs.
Now we live with the burden of being seen,
living into our observed death.
Great plans never work out.
Chaos is forever seeping in.
All it takes is a crack in creation
like this to ruin everything.

Here is a wound no spell can heal.
We’ve tried them all.
Not even Spider can weave us whole again.
Spoilage creeps over the whole land.
Cherish your wildness.
It’s all we have left.
Live close to the edge.

Published in Dark Sister (Mammoth Publishing, 2018)

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