Friday, September 30, 2011

Raven's delight

I had promised to bring back more of my raven poems. Here is one. I thought of it this morning, as I met up with some locals-- human and otherwise-- on my way into work at ravenrise, that slip of pale sky just before dawn.

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

Friday, September 2, 2011

Almost ten

There’s a restlessness
that stirs these feathers,
draws the mask tight
against our skins,
calls us to dance from the heart
of the leopard’s prowling night.

Our blood remembers
the thrumming of the drums,
the pounding of our feet
on the cold sand, wet
from the lapping
of the river’s briny tongue.

The girls, four of them
almost ten, tie sheer fabrics
taut around their waists
and pull each other’s hair
up into fountains, bound
with coloured cord, until
the hypnotic techno rhythm
compels them swaying,
rolling, undulating
into the inescapable groove.

Rachel Westfall
September 2, 2011