Crow on the Cradle

They had collapsed into an empty cave of nowness, replacing a past of empyrean wonder with the unceasing presence of burning flesh, condemning the contagious and aliferous joy of birds to smoke-filled air hanging heavy over stone landscapes that had lost all green.  What they called life, the promise of continuity, was at an impasse.

They had forgotten to build an ark.

They had forgotten to build an ark, and so they were left standing between a raging wall of flame and an infestation of endlessly rising waters.  A fierce susurrus rose from the spirits of the ancestors–an oddly wordless murmur riding on the howling wind, carrying the silent but distinct rattle of bones.

what happens when where
we were going is gone?–crows
seize the winter sky

For earthweal, where Brendan asked us to fill your poem’s sails with a blast of something akin to the hurl of atmospheric plumes, and dVerse, where Mish has given us a list of uncommon words to incorporate in our poem. I’ve also taken inspiration from Jane’s Oracle 2 wordlist.

35 thoughts on “Crow on the Cradle

  1. Riveting. I would say apocalyptic but it is painfully more realistic at this point. This is a powerful write. I love the repetition of “They had forgotten to build an ark”.

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  2. I love the voices of the ancestors howling on the wind. I’ll bet they are howling, too. Ha, we both thought of arks…….but where would we sail them to? I’m with you on the impact of the news. I become more and more silent.

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  3. Your writing sent me to the dictionary. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered susurrus before, and it relates to murmuration. Lots of sound imagery. Mixed signs in the poem (did you intend this?) — its having a Last Judgment resonance — especially with “empyrean,” synonymous with the Biblical firmament.

    I love the image at the top which seems to me as though it should be a Chinese ceramic dish. It’s quite wonderful. In the context of the poem, it can seem ominous with the black crossing lines, but seeing it before reading the poem it struck me as just pure loveliness.

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    1. Thanks Muri. I tried to pick words I already knew that seemed to fit together so it didn’t seem too awkward. That ark seems to be on many people’s minds these days…

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