Speaking of  the Raven

by Elizabeth A. Thomas, 2012


Carrion Crow we call it

for consuming what repels

us – the creatures broken

by our clumsy cars. But there

by the side of the road it takes them

in, cleans their bones with sacramental care

till they are reborn in flight

yet also delicate and white

as the bones of saints.


Dark Portent we name it

for being blamelessly black

for how the dark silk sheen of its wings

reflects the sun

back to itself.


Thief  for wanting

shining things,

Trickster because it conceals.

But its darkness only asks us what

are you?  And answers you

yourself are darkness yearning

for the bright, you too are

an animal that will break

and die.  If you’re lucky

I will carry you on

in me. Carrion.


“Our sky, bereft. Our heartmuscle, lit into blue flame.
We gnaw for that light that lies beneath our skin.
We’ve turned to flames
Like a house burning itself from the inside out.”
— Ansel Elkins, from “Blues for the Death of the Sun”

because no man can ever feel his own identity aright except his eyes be closed; as if darkness were indeed the proper element of our essences, though light be more congenial to our clayey part.

— from Moby Dick


Lost for words: On an involuntary exercise in radical stillness