He sank into the raven’s eyes.
Their surface sheen reflected snow
Back at the whiteness of the skies.
A concave warp of vertigo
Unshrouded mice in tunnels cached
From clawing eyes that beaked black wings
Above the scurrying that snatched
Blood past the raven’s ravenings.
Inside his heart black feathers stirred
Into his hands, his human life.
A crucible croaked from the bird,
Its blood inside his blood a knife
That tunneled black rimmed raven eyes
Into a cedar block that pulsed with wings
And raucous swells of clawing cries
That made the forest’s stillness sing.
He shrugged his spirit from the bird
And left it listening to snow.
He walked through darkness, undeterred
By failing light, the silver glow
Of moonlight through the limbs of trees.
Outside the house he stopped and stared
At birds he’d carved into the eaves.
In rooms, on fence posts wings were flared
As birdsong choired cacophony
Into the silence of the night.
The house moved, spirit-fantasy
Of birds eternally in flight.
Note: This poet is a companion to “Encounter with a Gray Morph Owl.” The idea came from an essay by Norbert Blei in “Door Way, the People in the Landscape.”
4 responses to “Carver of Birds”
What bold liberties you take here
With each fletched arrow finding
Unerringly its quivering mark
The melding, merging, or meshing of the carver with the birds is so well fleshed out from beginning to end: Its blood inside his blood a knife…to make the house itself “of birds eternally in flight.” Beautiful.
So very visual and powerful! (A masterpiece.)
This poem is very powerful, Thomas. As Anna says, “meshing of the carver with the birds is so well fleshed out from beginning to end”.
From the first line I am drawn to those eyes. I follow those eyes through the poem. I feel as if I am standing beside the carver, staring
“At birds he’d carved into the eaves”
“He shrugged his spirit from the bird
And left it listening to snow”
convey so much, I want to read more.
Thomas, I have replied to your comments on my poems but the notifications have gone to my email, I’m not sure why. You may want to drop in sometime to see my replies.