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Crow’ Theology January 25, 2015

Posted by The Typist in poem, Poetry, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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By Ted Hughes

Crow realized God loved him —

Otherwise, he would have dropped dead.

So that was proved.

Crow reclined, marvelling, on his heart-beat.

And he realized that God spoke Crow —

Just existing was His revelation.

But what

Loved the stones and spoke stone?

They seemed to exist too.

And what spoke that strange silence

After his clamour of caws faded?

And what loved the shot-pellets

That dribbled from those strung up mummifying crows?

What spoke the silence of lead?

Crow realized there were two Gods —

One of them much bigger than the other

Loving his enemies

And having all the weapons.

A Murder on Fortin Street. October 3, 2011

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Toulouse Street.
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Somehow the return of the murder of crows to the tree in the next block behind my house lacks the Tin Pan Alley charm of the swallows of Capistrano. It is still a marker of the seasons; the crows come home to the Fairgrounds with the horses, flock to the track as the rake works the course, anxious for the coming time of scattered hot dogs along the grandstand rail. I have expected them since the short-course starting gate was hauled back from its summer home in the back parking lot along Gentilly Boulevard to just past the end of Mystery Street, the brightly colored slot numbers substituting for the change of leaves in this evergreen city. Fall is surely just around the corner.

Anglo culture have painted crows blackest black in their imaginations, carrion eaters of the battlefield from the most ancient of lays to the mythic hero. Then there were Odin’s servants Huginn and Muninn. The Christian assimilists of the Middle Ages could not have the servants of an unsavory character like Odin All Father given any stature. Not all cultures see Crow this way, and somewhere along the way I cam to understand the place of Raven and Crow in Native American culture, as tricksters, storytellers and message carriers between the world, and to me they entered into the mythological space of intermediaries reserved by most for the angels.

To hear them back reminds me to take my morning cigarette on the front stoop and not in back, to once again watch the thoroughbreds exercising in the morning across the street, to compare the breast-stroke flight of the crows with the loping of the horses, warming myself with coffee against the slight chill of October; to see in the animal kingdom, both the wild and the tame, the cycling of the year into a new season in a place where the only native tree to change its colors is the cypress. I lived for a time where the pumpkin and jam stands nestled beneath the turning trees but here the signs are more subtle. We are halfway between Equinox and Thanksgiving, waiting for the overture in that play of mortality against the fecundity of Autumn harvest observed long ago by picnics among the tombs.

In Spring we embrace the return of life. In Fall we slowly let it go, give up another of our years and live in the moment, in the feast my pagan friends have just celebrated at Mahbon and which my civil, Christian neighbors will wait until the end of November to observe. Have another glass of ale or wine and another helping of food before it’s gone. Be present in the moment among friends. Recount the old family stories. Ask not for whom the crows call. You will know that only when your chair sits empty on October mornings. For now welcome them back with a cigarette raised and cupped in prayerful hands like a censor as they fly past, and listen in their calls for hints of the stories they could tell you of their summer place.

Crow’s Fall December 2, 2009

Posted by The Typist in poem, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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So it’s Wednesday and I’ve nothing much to say so why not another Crow poem on One Eyed Jack‘s day.

raven_passion
Painting Raven Passion from The Sacred Crow Treasure Box

Crow’s Fall
By Ted Hughes

When Crow was white he decided the sun was too white.
He decided it glared much too whitely.
He decided to attack it and defeat it.

He got his strength flush and in full glitter.
He clawed and fluffed his rage up.
He aimed his beak direct at the sun’s centre.

He laughed himself to the centre of himself

And attacked.

At his battle cry trees grew suddenly old,
Shadows flattened.

But the sun brightened-
It brightened, and Crow returned charred black.

He opened his mouth but what came out was charred black.

“Up there,” he managed,
“Where white is black and black is white, I won.”

Crow June 1, 2009

Posted by The Typist in poem, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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If we seem obsessed a bit with crows of late here on Toulouse Street, well, a person has to be obsessed with something, just as stones are obsessed with their spot, plants with the day star, cats with their creeping prey and crow, well, Crow I think is obsessed with us: watching, askance and laughing.

crows

Crow Blacker Than Ever
By Ted Hughes

When God, disgusted with man,
Turned towards heaven,
And man, disgusted with God,
Turned towards Eve,
Things looked like falling apart.

But Crow Crow
Crow nailed them together,
Nailing heaven and earth together-

So man cried, but with God’s voice.
And God bled, but with man’s blood.

Then heaven and earth creaked at the joint
Which became gangrenous and stank-
A horror beyond redemption.

The agony did not diminish.

Man could not be man nor God God.

The agony

Grew.

Crow

Grinned

Crying: “This is my Creation,”

Flying the black flag of himself.