Oh, how a writer's brain works... I have become completely stuck on crows. Some recent, and pretty strange, events in my circle have gotten me thinking about tricksters that may be too smart for their own good. Or at least they think they're smarter than anyone else who's paying attention...? There are a million better ways to explain that.
The point is, birds are always my obsession, but now that's become even more pointed at crows. I always find it interesting to self-analyze what I get stuck on, but once I started researching some lure about crows it began to make more sense why I've been associating these events with this particular bird.
Some things I've been learning...
- Crows live in the void and have no sense of time
- They remember faces and will warn the murder if an enemy is returning
- "Seven crows for a secret never to be told"
- A crow's call from the southeast means an enemy is coming
- They can adapt to any environment and can survive almost any situation
- This came from the crow section in a book about spring; the mother crow says it when the babies hatch: "There is no joy unmixed with woe"
Somehow all of this is going to make its way into a poem, which I've been toiling over for most of the morning. But, as a writer, toiling is good. Every writer should toil often. It's usually worth it in the end.
UPDATE! I have finished a draft of the poem, so here it is:
She was a silk scarf on fire, twisting
through ivies, smoke trailing among leaves
behind her, her feet imprinting the moss and mud.
And him, watching,
dropping his feathers on the path, enticing her forward.
His wings carried him from pine to pine.
He’d stumbled once—she’d bent to sip from the stream.
Her red hips shifting, she stood to cool her face
with water cupped in her crocheted fingers--
stray drops on her bare toes perched on the rocks.
Though she smiled he saw her exhausted--
the appearance of a fox run down by hounds.
He did not know that she was a wolf
wrapped in layer upon layer of stolen, stoic fortification.
He thought he could collect her like a shining coin
only to spit her up later, naked,
less perfect, less alive—a muted token.
She’d been collecting his discarded feathers
as evidence of her power,
pieces of him no longer displayed for the audiences
he so cherished.
But the day came when her hands were full,
when the trees split and she saw them—seven crows in a circle,
hushing their secrets, beckoning her. He said,
All these days, each feather has belonged to you, my trophy.
She poured the black ribbons to the ground like
those drops of water onto the rocks.
My dear, she smirked, you’ve never had a mind for time--
it’s been years.
He did not know that for all he imagined of her,
for all of her twirling through tall grasses,
that the she-wolf grew hungrier by the day,
and had learned to leap for birds in flight.