Ravens and Crows

I saw one of Wodan’s ravens
— Or was it one of Badb’s crows? —
Through dirty bus windows,
Flying over hard and frozen snow.

Fly on, old friend, with your mission,
And the messages you wish to bestow,
While, across the rivers, through the mountains
To grandmother’s house I go.

But grandmother doesn’t live there
— Or anywhere —
anymore.
So, to grandfather’s
— my father’s —
house I go.

Rails ride into the night,
Past mountain, tree, and snow,
Darkened windows reflect back
Future fears I cannot know.

Ten full moons have passed
Since the Banshee gently wailed,
Calling me back to the valley
Before the light finally failed.

The last time I saw mother’s face,
So weak and fragile her body’d grown
Yet from her eyes, her loving smile,
That old fire still shone.

And now, across snow-capped Cascades
I am called back once more,
For duty, for love, for unpaid debts,
And a destiny I can no longer ignore.

Not the sorrowful Banshee cry,
But crow-caw; raven-whispers,
Wisdom from the One-Eyed Wanderer;
Warnings from the Crow-Queen’s sisters.

The tapestry the Weird Sisters weave
Is completed when the final knot is tied.
Prepared or not, the future will arrive
On schedule, never avoided, delayed, or denied.

And so, I descend into the valley,
The steel steed never slows.
Uneasy, uncertain, yet undeterred,
Ready to sail wherever this river flows.

The future lies in the past
In that half-empty haunted bungalow,
Watched over and silently guided
By brother Raven and sister Crow.

12/30/18 – 04/23/19

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Cycles

The darkness only lasts
Until the dawn,
Storm clouds are
Eventually split
By the heat of the sun.

The light in the tunnel
Isn’t always a train,
Even the driest deserts
Can be baptized by the rain

Searing hot
Summer sun sets
Into the cool comfort
Of the nighttime breeze,
Fallen fruits
Rot on the ground
Giving birth to mighty trees.

Pleasant or foul,
Neither will long last,
Time flows forever forward,
The future becoming the past.

12/9/18

This poem was originally published @ Free Verse Revolution

And Jesus Wept

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Jesus Wept
At Lazarus’ death,
Thought he knew
He’d resurrect,
Jesus wept,
As Lazarus slept
In a stone-cold crypt,
From which his sisters crept
On a moonlit night
While Jesus wept.

2/3/19

Image is from Jésus pleura by James Tissot

 

 

Setting Sail

They built a boat on the Brandywine
And covered it in clover,
Celebrating the glorious day
That the Great War was finally over.

They sailed the river wide
Enjoying the freedom of the water,
Fantasizing lush green fields and afternoons
In the company of the Captain’s daughter.

But despite the smiles and laughter
They were all forever changed,
Like the borders of foreign countries,
By war drastically rearranged.

They saw ancient cites leveled,
And human flesh burned black,
They’d fight two hours to gain ten feet,
And lose twenty in the counter attack.

But no one could understand
Who hadn’t seen through their eyes,
The horrors they’d encountered,
And the morals they’d been forced to compromise.

And now the war was finished,
Until the next one came along,
The soldier sacrifice all but forgotten
Save in the melody of their melancholy song.

11/8-11/9/18

My Heart’s in the Highlands

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My heart’s in the Highlands
Gentle and free,
No matter where I go
No one seems to be talking to me

Walking and listening
To the magpies at play
Struggling to hear exactly
What it is that they say

Perched in their trees
Reciting remembered rhymes,
Drawing up images
Of far better times.

My heart’s in the Highlands,
Where my grandfathers once dwelt,
Dreaming of how that refreshing
Aberdeen breeze must’ve felt

Walking my own road,
Unburdened and free,
Just like that homeless family
That no one seems to see.

Invisible, immaterial,
Like a Ring-Wraith without a cloak,
Drifting on the wind
Like ashey crematorium smoke.

My heart’s in the Highlands
Where there’s nothing left to fear,
My heart’s in the Highlands,
Nobody even knows I’m here.

10/1-10/6/18

Inspired by My Heart’s in the Highlands by Robert Burns and Highlands by Bob Dylan.

The image at the top of the post is a Photo taken by Richard Webb on 17 October 2005 of Loch Long, northwards up the loch towards Ben Killilan and Sgumain Coinntich, and originally posted on geograph.org.uk.

Merlin

Merlin, oh Merlin,
Where did you go?
To search for the sacrificial Raven
And the battle hardened crow?

Did Nimue trap you
In a damp dirty cave?
Are you dreaming ‘neath the hills of Prydein
Of all the lives you failed to save?

But could even you have stopped the slaughter,
The disaster on the fields of Camlann,
The blood drawn, the kingdom lost,
On that wicked day destiny damned?

You put Arthur on the throne,
Twas history that threw him down,
Leaving only pale pretenders
To try and grasp Prydein’s crown.

Merlin, oh Merlin,
Was it worth the cost,
That brief shining moment,
Now forever lost?

9/6-9/27/18

There Once Was A Poet (For Dr. Seuss)

I wrote this poem way back in May of 1991 after reading that Dr. Seuss, a favorite author since childhood, had fallen ill.

There once was a poet
Who wrote some prose
It rhymed quite a bit
And tickled my toes

There once was a poet
I’ve heard he’s quite ill
Though he has a talent
That no mere illness can kill

There once was a poet
Who brought me much joy
By continually teaching me
What it’s like to be a little boy.

13 May 1991

On a whim I sent a copy of the poem to Dr. Seuss and shortly therafter recieved this card in the mail:

Dr Seuss Card

Sadly, he passed away a few months later in September of 1991.

A Message from Big Brother

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The truth is not the truth,
Facts, a convenient lie.
History is what we tell you,
And 4+4=5.

Nobody is honest with you,
Nobody, but me.
I’ll tell you what is real
And I guarantee you’ll be free.

An ally today
Is an enemy tomorrow,
And every day before that,
And every day to follow,

My enemies have always been our enemies,
History is immutably true.
Anybody who says otherwise
Is just peddling fake news.

8/22-8/23/18

Image found at 1984: Big Brother is Watching You1984: Big Brother is Watching You.

 

Drifting

Drifting down the docks at night
In someone else’s clothes.
The passers by look right through me
As they wander to and fro.

Walking through dark dim light
Trusting my feet to fate,
Pulling me unwillingly from the reservoir
Back to the interstate.

Road weary, body aching,
Looking for the way back home.
Head is dizzy, hands are numb
The world fades into monochrome.

Battered black and white photos,
Yellow tapes corners, crooked on the page
Men with old fashioned hats and fear in their eyes
Barely concealing the white man’s racist rage.

Burning houses and burning crosses
Smoke fills the ebony skies,
Bloodied brown faces look up
To see a hood covering all but the coward’s eyes.

Walking relentlessly down
That dusty old Dixie Highway
Moving further and further away from
Woody Guthrie’s sacred golden sky-way.

Hitchhiking highway in dim light,
Unsure if its dusk or dawn,
Quietly humming a happy tune
From an old Big Bill Broonzy song.

7/17-7/26/18

Fragment of Verse on the Passage of Time

Days slip away
Brown hair turns gray
As a boy turns into a man.

4/18/18

My 17th poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

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