Sunday, 6 December 2020

Totally quiet crows

The crows

Four of them have been cawing
for days now. I don't know
why the word is 'cawing',
because they craah.

I've never heard a crow do anything other than craah -

on different pitches,
at different lengths
and alternating tempos;

but 'caw' is a human invention that can be dropped, when it comes to crows.

All that is neither here nor there, really. But
the pied crows and their craahs
have been dominating 
air space as well as
air waves.

I tell my mother on the phone
that they remind me of her
(she's forever complaining
about her croaky voice)

and she bursts out laughing
and says, "Please greet the crows
from me."

Well, they sit on the roof,
grooming themselves
- I notice they are very curious
about each other's underwings -
 
and they poop generously,
rudely onto the tiles
from their vantage
on the wifi dish.

It's two big, shaggy ones
and two sleek, younger-looking ones -

are they a family,
invading this suburb
of sunbirds, white-eyes, weavers, mousebirds,
hoopoes, robins, thrushes, bulbuls, gulls,
sacred ibis, hadidah, flycatchers, wagtails, 
nightjars, herons, plovers, doves,
gymnogene and guinea fowl?

Or are they rival pairs
- ragged oldies against a shiny new generation -
craahing, gliding, hopping, hooping,
hoping to talk things through?

One of them does
fly a close hoop over
the older-looking pair,
who turn their necks up with interest,
but do not jump.

Their expressive beaks
and measuring eyes,
their confident shoulders
and charming white bibs,
leave a person guessing.

Since I've beeen writing this,
they are totally
quiet.

- Silke Heiss, 5th December 2020 

Crow is the totem animal of Sacred Law

"If you look deeply into Crow's eye, you will have found the gateway to the supernatural. Crow knows the unknowable mysteries of creation and is the keeper of all sacred law."

"The law which states that 'all things are born of women' is signified by Crow."

"Human law is not the same as Sacred Law. More so than any other medicine, Crow sees that the physical world and even the spiritual world, as humanity interprets them, are an illusion. There are billions of worlds. There is an infinitude of creatures. Great Spirit is within all."

- from 'Medicine Cards' by Jamie Sams and David Carson, New York: St Martin's Press, 1988, 1999.


Photo: Charles J Sharp








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