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In Poplars bordering the stream
and above the house the trees shelter
at first a few but after a while many
crows gathered
to live in trees near water.

A flock in the field
thieving scraps of grain like scattered coins
moving across the furrowed rows
as a shape of hunger.
A wave of noise,
their voices began before dawn,
but even when the black shapes were gone,
their hoarse complaints seemed to inhabit
every bootscrape and closing door.


Evening found them hanging
and turning against the sky.

Their wings drooped beneath them -
black ornaments,

a form of satire, a form of warning
to all who would come.

When they fell, their voices
trailed behind them.


The lost thief on his cross
the forgotten, the left behind

many must have seen him.
Some must have known

his anger, his desperation?
Even if there were no feeling

they must have asked how one
could have denied

the Face, the Voice of forgiveness,
the Promise of fulfillment

and rest from labored seeking?
Did they see his expression

as he denied paradise
for earth's suffering?

How did they experience that complexity?
Some must have seen him

as the symbol of something terrible,
like hawk to the mind of a hare.

Some scavenged their time.
Some viewed him without pity.

Some bore him and some
desired another world.


Atop the heap, grown fat
from waste,

black buzzards
quarrel and squawk −

the beast birds
spread their wings

angle their heads
and hop with menace.

Each one the ungainly
fleshy head of turkey

atop an eagle´s wings.
People turn their faces,

disturbed by this
carrion glance.


Unstruck strings stand taut
in the silence of a Latinate guitar,

until the standing waves let fall
until arms rise and bodies progress

in an arching, postured dance
each to each at turn in

a ritual of sound and patterned space
about an epicenter of desire.

Related Links Luke:23:39 to 23:43
1st know version Nov, 1996
Latest version June, 2012
This poem is nearing completion
A Case for the Idols


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