I forgot to post two raven poems a reader looked forward to. I have a third but it's not soup yet.
My Spirit Guides
Withered in the sizzling afternoon,
black smokestacks of glisten,
dark wings dumbstruck silver:
wet ravens exfoliating steam.
I grok their raucous caws, listen:
Not the kookaburra in the eucalyptus
nor the turkey vulture in the date palm,
more the great heron stabbing fish
at the center of all birds, a calm
so large no feather raised
against the wind denies it,
no pinion, quill or tail recedes
without shifting the air's resistance
Ravens on rooftops and rails
shine bright silver to other birds.
I bless the gin rummy of their tails,
black angels with their secret wurd,
but I won’t trust them. Signs
follow wonders, wonders, faith:
these birds are not divine—
psychosis and poetry are twins
while prophecy's another thing.
Raven pecks a pine,
click click click like a woodpecker
to fool me, then cries
craah craah craah and flaps
black-fingered wings away.
An iridescent sheen
creasing the neck
betrays his monotone
like a film of oil on water.
Black eyes see no color,
though black beak eats anything,
going where vultures can't--
in the middle of roads, quick to rise
before wheels arrive.
The Tlingit Indians
have two clans:
Either you are a raven
or an eagle.
I want to be a raven.
(published in my first book, Elementary)
I'll return to Sine Wave tomorrow.
My mood is holding--dare I venture to say I'm at 1 Kilobunny? To assert such a notion scares the dickens out of me, because I know how thin the paper is on the closet door where the monster hides, waiting to devour me. I have an immense respect for depression, the kind of respect Sigfried must have for tigers--or was it Roy? Whichever one was dragged across the stage by the neck. I'm never safe and I only have today. It is through my actions that I live, while remembering that speech is an action and that inaction is also an action.
Thine in Truth and Art,
Dr. Craig Chaffin