Tag Archives: crows

Nocturnes (vi)


Nocturnes (vi)

The sound of crows chased my dreams
Away this morning as effortlessly

As they drove the quiet vulture from
The black walnut tree behind the house

My family lives in. I won’t call anything mine,
Not even you. Not even the crows who spin out

And then return, black boomerangs.
They leave so they can come back.

The breeze picks up and forgets. Anything
outside, like wind chimes in the dark,

could be the voice of the vulture’s dream.
Two pine trees, like brothers who won’t talk.

When there are stars


When there are stars

The train is always departing
Or skidding through without stopping.

Because the crows blend in to the night sky
They lose their right to complain

If a thought intrudes on the view.
The thought– it wakes you in the night

After the candle has guttered into its glass
And the house is a helmet too small to wear

When there are stars. The thought’s engine
Is fierce but its tracks have already been laid,

It will go right on by whether consciousness
Stands by with its ticket or not:

When the train wakes me in the dark
I think of people I know, the cost

Of their freight, of a mile of empty cars
Pushing through the darkness with dust

Their only passengers. In the morning
The crows stomp their feet soundlessly

But can finally speak again, about everything
They saw when their eyes were closed

And they slept above the earth, like the stars
We do not see during the day. About

An empty train and what it used to carry.

Early Morning, January, Outside

Early Morning, January, Outside


I have seen crows measure themselves against a hawk
to secure territory.  A single crow settles into a branch

a few limbs away from a red tailed hawk, hopping awkwardly
closer then gawping its recognition and the echoes

of recognition bring more crows as if the crows
themselves were the echoes coming back. We know

how this ends, with the hawk taking flight and shrugging
them off, literally–with a few flicks of its shoulder

it is gone. But stronger or not, in the end it leaves.
This morning the crows behind my house

were raising a racket but nothing was rising
over the treeline. They hopped agitated from

tree to tree but kept to the lower branches.
Overhead like staples in the gray sky a hundred vultures

circled and swerved, like figure skaters
freed of all pretension of looking human

but they did look human, these angels
of death, or maybe turning to go back inside

I caught their reflection in the kitchen window
as if they were already inside the house,

waiting for me there, a semblance of the thing
that has crows giving ground without lifting

a wing. That after all there’s no owned territory,
that there’s something recognition alone won’t harry.