Monday, December 21, 2009

Raven's delight

The angry flight of birds blacken
the late-morning dawn, feathers crisp with frosty breath
an arrow painted by the streak
and shriek of the hollow-boned ones, straight up
and across town to the place
where the orange berries sit in iced clumps, bitter and dry
for their midwinter flesh to be torn
in clumps and scattered, ravens’ delight

Just one man, coat puffed-up blue
jeans frozen stiff, a streak of vomit spittle running down
mouth‘s craggy corner, waterfall or avalanche
caught by yesterday’s frozen night tongue sore, head throbbing
with the racket of those damned birds
up and around this handy snow bank, this of all places
why can’t they go cuss up their mess
somewhere else, must get up and find me a drink

Rachel Westfall
December 21, 2009

14 comments:

Fat Arse said...

Ah, how I remember those days well!

catvibe said...

Sad. :-(

Gerry Boyd said...

Nice work there. Bravo!

Poetikat said...

My best wishes to you and your family for a very Merry Christmas/Winter Solstice, Rachel!

Quite a memorable poem. The title is so fitting.

Kat

Julie said...

Hi, Rachel! You're right...we must be on the same wavelength this week. But you didn't give yourself enough credit in your comment at my place. This is an AWESOME poem! Very powerful work.

I've thought about this subject a lot over the years. People have shown much compassion for me and others who have been displaced from jobs/homes because of the Recession. But people often find it harder to have compassion for the ones with vomit on their coats. The guy I knew wasn't necessarily "nice," and many of his problems were his own doing. But I still think it's our responsibility as human beings to love them as much as we love ourselves. Your poem paints the portrait vividly, and it makes me feel much compassion for this man. Wonderful work!

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

This is powerful - and beautiful as always.

Fireblossom said...

Addiction has a singular way of telescoping the world down to the drink or drug of choice, and then everything else, which is just a batch of annoyances.

Warmest solstice wishes to you, Rachel. I'm so glad our bloggy paths have crossed in 2009! :-)

RachelW said...

Fat Arse, were you the raven or the fella?

Cat, yes.

Gerry, thank you.

Kat, happy solstice to you, too! I'm glad you like the title. I usually struggle with titles. This one came easily; too easily, in fact. It seemed like maybe I should be thinking about it a bit more.

Julie, thank you! Yes, I agree with you 100%. Though the troubles are often of one's own making, there is always a place for compassion.

Diane, thank you!

Fireblossom, yes, I think you have hit on it perfectly. And I'm delighted that our bloggy paths have crossed, too!

BloggerMouth said...

This reminds me of my father. I understand him in a way, but it gets irksome sometimes. But then I agree with what Julie said.

namingconstellations said...

Wonderfully vivid imagery, and a powerful pairing of themes... very cool!

Rikkij said...

Yeah, I can see it...feel it. felt a chill and brought my collar up. Damn birds. ~rick

Mike G said...

"Raven's delight" is a another one of your delightful; very pleasing read. Very nice and very sad, too...

Sorry for not commenting enough lately. Thanks for being here ;)

All The Best To You And Yours, and to all your readers.

Woman in a Window said...

Ah shit, powerful imagery. Powerful. I think I side-stepped his frozen stream today on my walk.

happy holidays to you and yours, Rachel.
xo
erin

Anonymous said...

sad