Raven Speak — a poem

bird birds usa raven

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I heard some peculiar sounds outside near my balcony yesterday and went to investigate. It was a family of ravens on the neighbouring balcony. Mom and Dad were out with their teenagers — and the young ones, especially one of them was really unsure of him/herself. It was wobbling back and forth on the banister and making the most worried sounds. I stood and watched them for awhile. The young one would sidle up to one of its parents and seem to demand something from them — most likely food, but I thought it was maybe seeking reassurance. Mom and Dad stuck close, but ignored all the whining. Eventually, they coaxed their baby into flying off, but not before there was a lot more complaining and nuzzling and attention seeking.

Ravens, I think they’re fascinating creatures.

I wrote the following poem earlier this year and submitted it to a local magazine. It wasn’t selected for publication, and I’ve tweeked it a bit, but seeing that family yesterday prompted me to share it.

I hope you like it.

 

 

Kathy Larson                                                                                                      ©2018

 

 

 

Raven Speak

 

Clork? Clork?

They chitter and chatter

Amongst themselves,

Quorkel. Quorkel.

At times,

Voices

Soft and gentle.

Quirrel? Quirrel?

Where were you?

Let me see.

Are you all right?

Grak! Grak!

Leave me alone!

Stay away!

I hate you!

Crah! Crah! Crah!

Death-black wings unfold.

Beaks like scythes slash.

Don’t come back!

So ungrateful!

Kraw! Kraw!

Oh, who cares?

I was going anyway.

There are better places

Than this.

Than here.

Chirrip. Chirrip.

Please, oh, please.

I’m sorry.

I want to stay.

Please? May I?

Gleergle? Gleergle?

We love you.

We’re sorry.

Come.

Sit.

Feel the sun?

Warm on your back?

Chrrgle. Chrrgle.

There now.

We’re okay.

 

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A poem for today

I’m supposed to be working on a short story submission, but I got looking through my old poetry. I really like this one. Blackie was such a good dog. And I still miss her.

 

Blackie

©Kathy Larson

 

She was our first, and only, family dog.

We got her from the SPCA,

A little ball of black and tan fur.

Our son, for whom the puppy

Would be a companion and also

‘life lessons,’ named her:

Blackie Bear Rosa, a mouthful, for sure,

But he couldn’t settle on just one,

So we laughed and said why not?

Within days she became just ‘Blackie’;

It was the name her ears perked up to.

This puppy, who would eat with her

Back legs waving in the air made us laugh,

Made us glad to buy chew toys and treats

And special dog blankets and an old fashioned

Wind-up clock that we wrapped inside a baby

Blanket to keep her quiet and comforted at night.

While she was little she held our son’s attention,

But as with most ‘family’ pets, she soon became

Mine.

And I loved her, utterly and completely.

She was my companion on the days waiting

For the school bus to bring our boy back,

She took me on long, soul-searching walks,

Walked me out of depression, walked me out of

Walking out.

For fifteen years she was part of us and when

We had to take her in and put her to sleep

Part of me went with her.  I cried for weeks after.

Walking in the door expecting the pit-pat, pit pat

Of her coming to greet me, or waking in the night,

Sensing her still there, at the side of my bed,

Dropping my hand down to touch emptiness.

All that remained was a lighter spot on the carpet

Where her rug had lain for all those years.

In time, the pain lessened, but not the loss.

Now, I remember her as a dear friend,

Visit her in photo albums, and, on occasion,

When we’re all together, say, “Do you remember when. . .?”

 

Memories

Back in 2009 I took part in a poem a day challenge.  It was a lot of fun and a great writing exercise. I love poetry; though I don’t read nearly enough of it, and I write even less.

It’s a blah, mid-April day here in the Fort today.  For some reason this poem popped up in my memories.

pexels-photo-358160.jpeg

 

Water Tower, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Kathy Larson

©April 5, 2009

We’d see it as Dad rounded the corner on to John Street:
Unimaginably tall, bluer than the sky,
Thrillingly extra-terrestrial.
We’d all cheer and he would tell us to be quiet;
I’ll turn this damn car around right now, he’d growl,
And we’d hush, but we knew he wouldn’t.
Still, the threat was there. He was tired, who knew?
Mom, quiet beside him, readying to face her parents,
Another one of us added to her brood.
Us, squirming in the back on scratchy ‘Corinthian leather’,
Three days packed in mid-summer heat.
Endless games of “I-spy” and learning to hate Charlie Pride,
Conway Twitty and Connie Francis.
Always, someone would pee their pants,
Though they tried hard not to,
But Dad wouldn’t stop, and then, he would.
To late. We learned, over time,
To cover for one another,
Whispering: Watch for the water tower.
The promise of cousins, roasted corn and a trip to Pepe’s
Along magnolia-shaded streets could make us forget anything.
Tell us the story about Man’o’War again, Mom, we’d plead,
And she would, thrilling us all with a fearless girl-child vision of herself
Weaving between the legs of this mythical beast.
Grandpa, proud, terrified, calling her softly to him
As stable hands trembled, witnesses to the unbelievable.
He was a nice horse, she’d say, I knew he would never hurt me.
Then Dad would start in with his stories
Of the famous Indian braves, Falling Rock and Sharp Shoulders.
Along the way we’d get tales of the princesses Ida Know and Who-me.
Somehow, the miles melted away, ‘til, despite the fighting,
The stories, the laughter, the crying and the ‘claw’,
The water tower loomed before us
Promising sanctity,
Delivering us unto heaven.

 

June 5th – June 11th

Days 157 – 163 — Quite a long stretch, this one.  I’ve been down and out with a flu/cold for the past 5 days.  Prior to that is was a much needed un-wind from CUPE business.

So, to recap the last five days:

Me and My Flu

Fever, chills.  Sore throat.
Achey muscles, achey joints,
hacking, coughing, sweating,
rinsing, gargling,
popping pills, lemon,
ginger, honey, shivering,
sleeping, tossing, turning,
cursing, flailing.
Doctor, drugs —
Now, hopefully,
recovery.

In response to Sethsnap’s Your Story photo/writing prompt: Keep Out

Keep OUt

by Kathy Larson

Who was it
first uttered those
words? Keep out.
Keep.
Out.
Keepoutkeepoutkeepout
keepoutkeepoutkkepout.
They’re not nice.
No way
how you say them,
how you dress them up.
They’re loneliness
like a bare-branched-tree-lined
lane in winter.  with a
sign crucified lopsided
neat black letters on
hunter yellow:  KEEP OUT!
It catches the eye, draws you on,
draws you in, begs your attention.
Keep Out?
Who was it first
uttered those words?  What
was it they needed
they craved, they suffered
so much for
they couldn’t connect,
couldn’t say
couldn’t tell
they were
left
only with:
Keep out.

 

All Rights Reserved
No copying without permission of the author.

Starry Night

In response to Viewfromtheside’s weekly prompt.

Starry Night

If there was a way to touch the sky,
Would I?

Those stars that shine so bright
From where I stand gazing
in rapt wonder, would their brilliance
hold once captured?

To walk a million lifetimes gone
beneath the light of the unknown
breathes magic into my day,
makes treading earth light, fantastic.

That light I see, I’ve been told,
does not exist; was extinguished eons
ago.  Is nothing but a trick
of time and space.

I prefer to be bedazzled, to hear music
in the stars, to believe that winged horses
and star-crossed lovers live enchanted lives,
That for one brief and shining moment

So can I.

 

©KLarson 2012

All rights property of Kathy Larson

I’d Bake You a Cake

Just something to celebrate the past week, and well, because it’s Friday.

I’d Bake You a Cake

To see a smile
On your beautiful face,
To catch a glimpse
of the stars in your eyes,
To hear the dance
That is the rythym of your heart,

I’d bake you a cake.

It’s such an easy thing
To pour love in a bowl,
To mix it with laughter,
To infuse it with joy.

And, it’s a small thing, I know
And certainly not lasting,
But, with each bite that you take,
With each indulgent sigh,
I hope my secret ingredient,
The abundance of my heart,
Goes straight to yours.

©Kathy Larson 2012
All rights reserved.

If I Were a Bear — a poem for a winter morning

If I Were A Bear

If I were a bear
I would pay no never-mind
to the rolls of fat around my middle,
to the graying, un-ruly hairs upon my head
or the wiry, scratchy ones sprouting
on my legs and beneath my arms.

No, if I were a bear
I’d snuffle out a place
warm and cozy, full of all the smells
that bring me joy and comfort,
and then I’d wrap my heart in pictures
of those I cherish so that my dreams
would be nothing but sweet.

And, if I were a bear
I’d stay snuggled down
inside my little cocoon until
the green smells of Spring tickled
my nose and my winter-claws
could no longer scratch through the matted
fur on my sun-starved hide.

If I were a bear
I’d emerge, blinking
into the bright sunlight of promise
and I’d go snorting and snuffing
looking for news of all those I left behind
while I slumbered and grew sleek
and hungry for life to return.

If I were a bear.

 

©Kathy Larson 2012
All rights reserved

Fields in the Fall, October 2011

Here are some pictures I took this weekend of the fields around Bon Accord, County of Sturgeon and County of Westlock.  Just to give you an idea of how beautiful it can be in this lovely season.  I took them between 5;30 and 6:45 in the evening.

I played around with the colour in some of them, because one thing I did learn in my solitary photography class a few weeks ago is that the colour captured by digital cameras will never be as good as what we used to get with roll film.  So, going in to tweak the colour is not cheating.  It’s representing what your eye saw.  Hopefully, you like what mine saw.

Thanksgiving, a poem

©KLarson 2011

All rights reserved

Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving weekend.
Here in Canada.

A quiet time of family
and turkey dinners,
table games and catching
the last glory of Fall,
pretending that the snow
won’t come, but feeling
its  icy kiss brush your cheek
as you kick through fallen leaves
while holding  tight to the hand
of someone you love.

It’s a time for last weekends
at the lake, last hikes on trails
gone to gold from green;
a time for Northern Lights
and sitting around a fire under
a big dark sky. It’s trail rides
and one more time out on the boat;
it’s driving dusty country roads
in search of one perfect tree,
one the winds haven’t
yet stripped naked of autumn’s splendor,
for that ever elusive family photo,
the one that there’s always
next year for.  And,
if this is not the year, no matter;
the heart will capture what
needs remembering.

It’s Thanksgiving.
Here, in Canada.

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