The Letting go of Crow

Crow sits across from me in the courtroom
Black feathers litter the ground, float
Upon the mahogany boards.

Arraigned by the universe, he is bound
To try some of the old tricks – but Dove
His opposite and cancellation, now

Stands and with a sigh, coos and points
On the projector the dead body of a horse
Whose beautiful and terrible hooves

Are tied. “Did you create this nightmare?”
Crow’s mouth opens, and out pour stars
Books, portents. Series of things fleeing.

Crows feathers bunch up into fists
Little tight handfuls of blackness.
He parrots back “Nightmare, nightmare”

Dove sighs again, changes the slide.
A schedule for housework – “are these
Your claw marks but I see…

Crow your name does not appear.
Do you think a horse deserves
This kind of torture” Oh bright dove.

By this point all Crow’s feathers
Are out. He’s a plucked little terror.
Dove just looks sad. “Sweep that up please.”

They begin working. While Crow is croaking
“I’m god’s nightmare. god’s. I am violent…”
But it’s too late. I’m leaving,

Walking past the curled up
Wormlike bird on the stand, and out,
I drop my copy of the book in the dullness,

hold open the door and Dove walks with.
Her feathers’ pearlescence gallops across.
We talk about her day, and I make her tea.

Dove Makes a Home Visit

Dove, glid
over feathers

“crow, you, mess
made a mess
no you’ll make things worse
don’t speak

eat your worms
I’ll later, with the nurse
she wasn’t happy. last time

crow what will we do with you

its okay look at me
aaaah
don’t pick your scabs
aaaaah

back soon
back soon i know
i know
bye”

then with a sigh, she heads next door
where a god lies sleeping
in a dusty armchair.

Dove’s Mission Creep

Dove sat
Stunned at what had happened
god sat next to her

I still don’t quite know what happened, said god
Dove stared, and all god saw was his own face
this made him glad.

But then he saw crow, he began to cry
Dove hopped on his shoulder, drinking

The tears made Dove grow terrible
She slipped out into the heavens
With a syringe and a cotton swab

Magpie

All the other birds have fled
Disturbed, as magpie makes perch
Upon the dirt-dust iron hook
Where a selection of old nuts hang

His blue gaze is hammer and nails
As he fixes me in place, and then
Stabs a hanging half coconut shell
Repeatedly. Full of fat and gristle,

The carrion hang on the feeders
Was not there til he arrived, and now
As he flies, he leaves behind
A small lamb whose eyes are gone.

Another one now takes her turn
Her clean beak is too soon soiled
She flies guiltily off. And I,
I watch the clean bones drop.

And as for the flak of trembling feather
They learned as much as they watched
And in turn, in turn, flap to floor and search
And slurp up all the fallen scraps…

Dove Builds a City in the City

A winter wind gusted
Dove heard it, rang through the archway

Her dark veins pulsed in the frost
Til the blood boiled over hope

Cracking the paving glade
Her crusting eye fixing on the mist
the dirt, the sand, beneath the skinnings

Crystals poured from her lungs
Piling growing strata of symbol
Resolving, concrete sinnings
Shimmer towers, seeding.

A winter wind blew
Dove heard it, and said
A winter wind taught us to dream