I saw the dverse prompt last night, to write a poem about one of the corvid family. Then this morning, I heard the news of yet another avoidable, senseless massacre in the US and I have no words for the moral bankrupcy of the/a people who call the murder of small children freedom.


Crows jays jackdaws
steal unattended eggs chicks
mob predators
soar glide chatter
protect entertain
plant oak trees
decorate cornfields.

Crows etc do only what needs doing
live their lives peaceably
clean up carrion
spread woodland

yet we call them pests
begrudge them a handful of grain
a few acorns
hate the way they warn others
that hunters are around
and we shoot them.

But then we shoot our own children too.


Ronovan’s art prompt is this painting. I have no idea what it is, but here’s what it inspired.



From a forest of tree tangle,

dead and dry, it comes,

treading with the confidence of death,

untouchable and indefatigable.

No wings carry this crow,

no lightness of sky and cloud touches its dusty flesh.

Midnight at midday,

the wilderness caws,

hoarse as war trumpets braying,

and we cower as the blight grows

and the fever rises,

and we dread the sound

of pounding at the door.

Crow flies

Today seems too have been the day of the crow, so here’s another crow and pearl (and oystercatcher) poem.

Photo© Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)


Crow flies

Waves toss

Fish swim

Pearls glint

Moon in the water

Fashioned from foam.

And along the kelp-strewn strand

Where mussles wheeze

And cockles blow

A high stepping bird


One eye cocked

For the carrion stalker

Sifts and searches

For the dark sea’s prize.

Poetry challenge 11: Sayings

For this last challenge of 2015, I thought we could do a theme poem rather than one in a particular form. Up to you to choose how you do it, but the challenge is to write a poem using a familiar saying. The one I chose was ‘as the crow flies’.

Here are some examples:

Keep the wolf from the door

One swallow does not a summer make

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings

Straight from the horse’s mouth

A cat has nine lives

A cat can look at a king

Curiosity killed the cat

Burning the midnight oil

Cross that bridge when we come to it

Let sleeping dogs lie

Kill two birds with one stone

Once in a blue moon

Method in my madness

Steal someone’s thunder

Every cloud has a silver lining.


And this is my crow flies poem.

Photo ©Plismo


As the crow flies,

Light dies,

Ragged wingbeats slow,

Steady as the ocean’s flow.

Wingbeats, oarstrokes, funeral barque,

Carrying some soul into the dark.


As the crow flies,

Light dies,

Funeral barque,

Rows into the dark.


Have fun writing, keep sane over the New Year festivities, and see you in 2016.



Dark Winter Haiku sequence


Dark winter tide turns

dark wind blows howling snow clouds

dark days are coming.


The fire within dies

quenched when the wind blows too hard

love’s flickering flame.


Your words breathe a chill

coat this beating heart with frost

while snowflakes fall soft.


Wind blows upriver

gulls drift on their wings lost souls

mist falls hides your face.


Into winter dark

crow flaps through thick falling snow

call lost in the wind.