The Cleric Crow

art by Toril Fisher
Crow, with your blackberry voice,
your hand-feet praying to grass blades
and sunflower stalks,

Come to my violin-framed bed of soft Gypsy songs.
Dolorous crow, in my elbow crook,
barter with corn kernels
for my robe spun from comb and tears.

Crow, with your harsh voice,
I must remember;
I cannot forget.
My skin hums with wings and stingers.
Your skin blooms with smoke and stars.

Crow, small priest of the northern window,
I have done so much
accumulating only to trinkets and sighs.

Take them, give them to the mourning dove.
I am useless but yours;
Distinguish me, by your bright vision, from pavement, 
from waste.

Crow, with your amorous voice
made from cat-tail and winding vine,
I must remember;
I cannot forget.
Make me your bauble,
give me to God
high in the branches of the swaying locust.
 linked HERE.


Sioux Roslawski said…
"Make me your bauble" is such a well-crafted line. When I was a kid, I wanted to catch a crow and make it my pet. Thank goodness I never went through with it. (And thanks for the link. Toril is quite a talented painter.)
Sherry Blue Sky said…
This is just so wonderful to read. Sigh. I love it so much! This is the picture that appeals to me as well.
Mama Zen said…
Oh my heavenly days. I wish that I had written this. "Dolorous crow, in my elbow crook." That is poetry just as it should be.
Kerry O'Connor said…
I was sold from the first stanza... I beautifully realized poem, Shay.
annell4 said…
Yes, a wonderful poem all about the crow!!
Cloudia said…
We could discuss this for hours! But you have neatly put SO much into spare lines. You are the poet i believe in
Vivian Zems said…
This entreaty to the crow is both dramatic and mystical. Just what the doctor ordered. I’m well pleased 😁
Kim M. Russell said…
I was drawn to this image too. Your poem is so inspired, Shay. I especially enjoyed the characterisation of the crow: the 'blackberry voice'; its skin blooming with smoke and stars; the 'small priest of the northern window'. Crows and gypsies have long been connected - I used to know a gypsy boy who tamed crows.
Ron. said…
Oh, yeah, "Make me your bauble." It. Rocks.
Anonymous said…
What a mystical and mythical piece in itself. A more than honourable and time-honoured tribute to the creature itself, but also, the subtle play with so many elements (dare we name: the black winged cassocks of the "divine", or love, death, messengers, transience, etc.) - I could go on and on - but hell, woman - you already know it - have owned it and made it so much more than carefully chosen words (damn, I'm not gonna cite the whole poem back to you) ... so yeah, this is of the stars, stellar - and yet entirely grounded in all corvid magic.
kaykuala said…
A crow can be all things good for a change. A grand tribute Shay!

Thotpurge said…
Love the images, the tone and texture.. just wonderful reading!
Unknown said…
Love this line -- "Make me your bauble."
tonispencer said…
I had a crow as a companion when I was a child. I truly love the "blackberry voice" of the crow. I totally agree with Pat in her assessment. This was the image I would have chosen but I would not have written so well. the crows and gypsies have long been companions. The gypsies of the antique sort are dying out the but modern gypsies are there, especially the carnies. "Make me your bauble". such a luscious line this is. Make me your world.
Susie Clevenger said…
Swoon...This is so beautiful. "Come to my violin-framed bed of soft Gypsy songs." You always bless me and surprise me with your talent.
Margaret said…
I fine wistful prayer - to be seen as beautiful - picked out by the crows ever knowing eye. Toril really captured the look of the crow... Love blackberry voice - the whole thing. BTW I bought this painting. It's 18 x 24. I'm going to put it above my writing desk.

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