crow has flown

mid march wide-eyed into winter

against a wall-hard northern wind

at 20 below rides the wooden will of his faith

scratches the small match in his brain on the 49th

lurches into the long drifting prairies


crow crosses the line flapping like a pirate’s flag

ploughs through troughs overrunning with cold

plans to goad the weak eager to gauge

the wages of sin in latitudinarian fervour

has answered his calling has given his word


is now ready to give

the world hell where we hunch

for warmth & love flings him

self into it onto a pulpit into a rage

in the sky takes up a post in our presbytery

inside his charcoal gowns gathers

his shoulders grown

irascible & bony &

braces his feet to speak

flings his indignation into

the wages of sin denounces all our fun

when the wind turns wickedly rouge

rubs a glow over our faces


knows he is a prophet crying in the wilderness

crow heads straight for the dark scraggly bottoms

crow has already littered with sermons

where we ourselves have fallen among

twigs & brush that line the creeks

sticks & stones will not break our bones


small creatures   we huddle

for warmth & love &


safety from his eye