Christmas Ravens – a poem

New entries from Richard’s Blog

I thought you might like to read something written on Christmas Day a year ago. 
Despite recent worries, they are still here and we talk every day.  But sadly our beloved tame crows with their funky white wing patches both disappeared on the same day. We can only assume they were killed (needlessly) by a local farmer
or some local redneck gunman.

No more do they come a’tappin’ on our window for their breakfast.

Is it all my fault? Did we make them trust too much our ruthless species? 


Christmas Ravens, a Conversation
I
The ravens were aboard their wintry nest
On Christmas morning with no-one about.
Murmuring so softly as in tranquil rest;
A conversation, I had little doubt.
II
Is that the nest you’ll lay your eggs in
A case of only a few short weeks on?
Seems early to be of such things thinkin’
But summer will see your young fledged and gone.
Till April you’ll reign over all country
Outmastering lowly competition
Who flee and yield beneath your majesty.
A soaring black cross in dominion.
A predator, for sure, cruel to some eyes,
But you scavenge and clean up our mess too.
Is it jet blackness or just your sheer size
Which upsets our civilised point of view?
A world without ravens except in zoos
Would render yet more tame this land of ours;
To some, perhaps, mere incidental news,
Just so long as you strut round London’s tower.
III
So, today, beneath a high conifer
(With no awareness of our Christmas day)
I listen quietly and hear you confer
But will never understand what you say.

© RM Meyer
Winswell Water, Christmas 2019

The raven – Evermore!

The raven –
Evermore!

Then it was January already
And I see a raven atop its tree.
Very early in the year it’s come
With sparkling life so barely begun.
Here now the king and queen of crows
High in the pine with me far below
Wishing for certain I wasn’t here.
But, for my part, wish he had no fear.

Those centuries of persecution
Have caused this undeserved exclusion
And brought about such calamity
By those with sighted eyes that can’t see
The glory of its magnificence.
Despite all their poison, guns and sense-
lessness they’ve failed in their regicide,
For safe in London’s Tower Rex survives!

Scorning humdrum landscapes, the raven
In its vaulting poise will freely reign
Over tree, mountainside and cliff edge.
Tail fanned full free, they say like a wedge –
But not really, much more arcuate
For the soar and swoop of mate on mate.
It reminds us, wherever it be,
Of primeval pre-man history.

You prehistoric fantastic beast!
Remembered from where we used to meet
In limeston’d quarry when I was young,
Where once I stopped a kid with a gun
Even though myself scarcely older.
Passion made me angry, nay bolder.
And becoming a man from fey youth
Surprised even myself by such proof.

* * *

The raven’s rasping corronking call
Gives notice; fearing nothing at all
Except endless man – arch enemy –
Who darkly shadows his destiny.
Now see the Raven, still beguiling
In its lonely ancient travelling.
This gaunt grim ominous bird of yore.
What is meant in croaking ‘Nevermore’?

Over our Welsh pinewood winter home,
Where the goshawk and red kite have flown,
Came a strange cork-extracting popping.
Not the usual pruk-pruk toc-tocking
Nor the oft heard bubbling and creaking.
This bell-like liquid gong sent me seeking
Off to Heinrich’s ‘Ravens in Winter’;
Myself once more eager researcher.

In his pages I found a treasure –
That this call is of peace and pleasure.
Now in Devon I hear it a lot
Though from childhood remember it not.
Bold comes its cousin, the common crow
(Less bold the jackdaw) to our window
And raps thereon to be fed some more.
But no raven tapping at my door.

Foolhardy to be any bolder:
Keep your distance from human murder;
Groups of crows are so designated
By man to raise fear of the hated.
O, ebony bird, so beguiling
You set my face gratefully smiling.
Stately raven, quoth I, from my door
I would give you shelter…
Evermore!

© R M Meyer (with respect to Edgar Allan Poe)
Devon, February 2019