(startled several crows)



When once I spoke and startled several crows,
the birds shot up and circled through the trees.
They bent about themselves then settled down
more interested in the ground than me,
or what I had to say about my world.
Unlike St. Francis, not even the birds
pay heed to my gibbering after light;
to expect more than that would be absurd,
yet to expect less, would be to accept
the futility of speaking at all.
With silence, the birds would remain close by;
with speech, they circumnavigate the field;
until ending where they began, they land:
my cold words stir like wet wind upon sand.
So, nobody listens; what’s that to you?
Is it so damned important to be heard?
But even as I speak these words, I know
I won’t listen to the ironic cry
even if it is uttered by myself.
I twist in anguish like a worm pulled from
moist earth to dangle above still water.
Take me, please.  Anywhere, but here.  I pray.
The only answer comes from a quick caw
and a sudden quiver of dark black wings.
The speaker cocks its head and stares with one
contemplative black eye, “Who dares disturb
my world now?”


(from Primogenitive Folly, August 2001-April 2003)


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