Flash of the Crow

Flash of the Crow

These eyes have laid bare
A tendency to drift
Among currents of
Impalpable impressions of thought,
Wherein only the wither’d vestiges
Of youthful wings doth abound,
Now intermittently aflutter
To the last plainchant of the grave warden
Resolutely resigned to his own extinction:


A solitary wind meanders on,
Too noble for stagnation,
But too humble for forgiveness.
Every color is uprooted and scattered
Along this serpentine path,
Until usurped by velvety drops of blackened rain
That slowly fill a wooden ladle
Perched against a dessicant rock
That patiently abides a child’s return.

She once kept post at the entrance
To a vale of wonderment-
Where the cackle of children
Flourished day and night, freely conceived
Amid raucous cavalcades
Of homespun instruments,
Where artless impromptu anthems
Blared possibilities that became harmony
And harmony recalled
Colorful vingettes
Of its own possibility
During occasions of tenderness.

From time to time
The winds would heed
Her strident call to order.
And a cluster of buds
Would dance their Christening dance
As the flocks looked on
With amusement.
These were the times
Her silken essence
Glistened the most,
Reflecting restless, variegated hues
Perpetually seeking flight
Back into the womb of the Sun.

One day she left,
No sooner than she appeared.
The children are now asleep,
Hastened to rest
By an unbidden hiatus in verse.
All that is left to wonderment
Is absorbed in a sodden chimera
Of beady unblinked eyes
And a violent twitch
Of a deciduous patchwork coat
That glistens no more.

From this abandoned ladle
Harmony takes a drink
And begins to remember
A song from old,
But the words escape him.

Art: “Dire Straights”
Judith Gebhard Smith

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