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Poetry: The Raven Fledgling

February 28, 2011

The Fledgling

The ravens are fledging.
That’s what’s up.
They are so noisy today
and perched in odd places

like the deep blue sill of my open window
inches away from my face.
He teeters there, his tail feathers not long enough
to offer much balance.

He eyes me and I admire
his sleek short obsidian feathers.
I know he is raven:
he is larger, sharper than a blackbird.

I know he is young: the red of his quiet mouth
his smooth shiny inky feathers
his sudden lengthy visit to my living room
his curious patient intelligent look.

They learn fast, these birds, they have to
to survive. He gains his balance
sizes up the fence 10 feet away.
Before I change my mind, to bring him in

he is off: lands on the fence, peers back at me.
He’s not quite sure what to do with his feet,
his beak even, but his wings, he knows
his wings are for testing, for flying.

Off again low, awkward,
he makes it to the neighbor’s roof.
I hear and find another, a parent perhaps,
high in the eucalyptus. The young one

is gone. I am left with the yearning,
the yearning to tame this raven, this familiar.
My own young returns to me, to my lap.
He draws while I write.

Better to invest in him than
the demands of a raven.
I bend down my head,
my cheek on his red curls.

I smell his warm smell
listen to his happy hum
feed him more paper
and a pen.

Submission to the City of Ventura’s ArtTales contest. Submissions close on Tuesday March 1, 2011. Painting by Duane Simshauser. Go to Red Rex to read my son’s submission. For more poetry, catch the Monday Poetry Train.

For more of my poetry, please come to my book launch! I will be reading March 15 at the Artists Union Gallery, at the Ojai WordFest Book Fair March 19, and at Ojai WordFest Well Red event March 25. You can buy a book from me or order one from en theos press.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2011 6:37 pm

    I also submitted a second poem with this painting, “Advice from a Raven”–it’s posted here:

  2. March 7, 2011 6:34 pm

    First visit to your blog, and glad I found it.

    This was so personal! I love how the little raven was coaxed near… I feel as though the raven is the ink in your pen as well. Thanks, Amy Barlow Liberatore

    My Monday Poetry Train is:

  3. March 14, 2011 12:51 am

    Thanks Amy! Love the idea of the raven being the ink in the pen as well…

    And I saw that you’ve got lots of great poems over at your place!


  1. Advice from a Raven « Blog Archive « Compassionate Rebel

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