Thursday, January 21, 2010

watching ravens

watching ravens 1

We heard the ravens outside the window
Saw them on the street
their wings batting
claws grasping
One on its back
on the packed snow
the other above
Their caws and cries
pushed through the double panes
Is this a mating?

Or a fight
over yesterday’s scraps of trash
fallen from the garbage truck?

In the middle of the January cold
in the middle of the quiet afternoon
these thieves have descended
from their mountain hideaway
following the smell of warm food
fast food, grease-covered and still steaming,
waste left over from trash day.
It feeds their winter hunger
makes their black feathers shine,
iridescent in the welcome sunlight.

watching ravens 2

Driving east one afternoon
down Northern Lights Boulevard,
the street whose name evokes mysterious beauty
but which is a thoroughfare of plainness
with brown-sugar snow filling the gutters and crosswalks
exhaust melting the ice on the rutted pavement
night-time cold refreezing it,
a flash of black caught my eye
and I spotted a raven pair
flying side-by-side above the sidewalk
alongside the boulevard
keeping pace as I accelerated past the green light,
was caught by the red light.

And they flew by,
trading places in a double-helix dance
returning home for the evening
with the other commuters,
heading east
looking to the mountains
just as the alpenglow set in.
Cinderella must be home before midnight
And the ravens, home before dark.


Anonymous said...

Love the 'double helix dance'... them's fascinating birds!

saved by biking said...

Great poetry.

Ravens are my favorite, love to see them play at the fast food oasis' adjacent to my work.

More than that, - I appreciate that it is "time" when I see them flying towards their roost in the Chugach when sunset approaches.

bikegirl said...

I'm not sure why so many of us are drawn to these birds, but their winter behavior patterns feel reassuring to me. And I love to listen to them 'talk.'