Back in or around 1998 I wrote the following poem. While I called it Raven, it was in fact an American Crow with whom I had the brief encounter about which I write. I suppose I thought that the term Raven was a bit more romantic a word.
I was inspired to find the old piece of poetry when I read a post at Let’s Paint Nature blog. It came into my Inbox this morning and sparked my interest.
Here is my rendition, from over 20 years ago, when I had my own encounter with a Crow.
With wing-beats which seemed a bit too slow and effortless for the task, the raven lifted himself to a now barren branch of a small tree. Shafts of late afternoon light filtered through the leaves yet spared from autumn’s rush to force all trees into slumber, falling upon his ebony form, providing evidence that the bird was not black, after all. The sunlight revealed his true colors, an iridescent indigo blueness streaked with shades of turquoise, sapphire, teal, cobalt, emerald green, and highlighted with crimson, scarlet, saffron, and olive. An interesting reminder that in all the blackness Lives all the color. He seemed unimpressed with my presence as I stopped to examine his exterior form. But, when I cocked my head to look into his eyes, my attempt to see into, or determine, whether there existed a glimmer of character to the bird, he returned the gesture, as if in quest of the same. And, so we gazed into each other’s minds, perhaps for just that little while. His head tipped just so attempting to glean a perspective which he might understand. And I, with hands tucked deeply into pockets, firmly placed feet in old, comfortable boots somewhat submerged in newly fallen, dried leaves, we pondered each other. I wondered whether he, too, came to some discovery that the first impression which fell upon his eyes was merely a shadow of my whole self, as when I discovered he was not black still and all. With a casual hop he changed perspectives, then reviewing me with his other eye, twisting his neck stretching his shoulders, dipping his head. A new inquisition. I found myself mirroring his movements, my head cocking another way, lowering my brows, squinting my eyes, to absorb this new point of view. And so it was, for a few moments more, as the warm autumn breeze gently lifted a tendril of hair from my forehead, and, ruffled a few ashen black feathers on his back. I think that at one, very brief point in time, our eyes met, and perhaps he did see more than I had intended to reveal to the bird. And, just maybe, I did see more of his essence than most have known. With the same effortless stretching of wings with which he had lifted himself to my eye-level, in the barren branch, of the small tree, he floated away, then, to the very top of a massive oak. Just once more, he looked upon me, from a heightened perspective, before he took flight and was gone