Crows Weep a River

Posted: March 21, 2017 in nature poems

At dverse tonight Paul Dear asks us to write a poem about rivers. The photo is an initial scribbling in my notebook of an idea for this poem – plus doodle!

He was a piece of night,
broken off,
left behind.
A crow smudging daylight
and in his eye a star was trapped.

He wept it free on high moors
and it began to run

through
sphagnum moss,
round granite,
gathering up a thousand
crow-dropped stars.
It led them to a hollow,
there they pooled and waited.

Another day,
a cloud burst of crows,
a dam breaks,

a galaxy streams downhill,
sears through the valley.

crow doodle 2

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Comments
  1. This is wonderful.. the birth of a river as tear-stars of a river.

  2. This is amazing. It has creation myth written all the way through it. Such a beautiful story. ( Would make a wonderful illustrated children’s ( and adults who get to read it) book. We Humans could have come from such beginnings. Magical. Thank You.

  3. This has the sound of a legend of indigenous people who revered the crow. I love the mythical quality. Your sketch, by the way, is terrific. Nice to have a peek at the beginning of your poem, which is a wonderful read.

  4. whimsygizmo says:

    Oh, man. I loves me some crows, and this is spectacular. Crow as piece of night…galaxy as river, the smudging of daylight. Wonderful.

  5. A beautiful poem and I love the sketch with the initial idea – a star trapped in his eye is such a powerful image.

  6. Glenn Buttkus says:

    This is truly wonderful, Paul–& it would make a terrific children’s book, illustrated by you of course; it is a thing of mythos, and aboriginal story-telling; fascinating stuff.

  7. I agree with Paul in the storybook idea. Would love to see an oil painting of crow-dropped stars, although you paint this myth in words sufficiently.

  8. frankhubeny says:

    I liked the initial pooling description of the single crow prior to the later dam breaking when more crows joined him.

  9. Singledust says:

    such imagination – that from a humble bird’s sadness comes the origin of a magnificent creation. a small piece of ordinary so respected.

  10. sanaarizvi says:

    I love this! It has all the makings of a legend or myth ❤️

  11. Grace says:

    And I was just watching a documentary of how smart these crows are Paul ~ Love the movements in these lines:

    Another day,
    a cloud burst of crows,
    a dam breaks,

    a galaxy streams downhill,
    sears through the valley.

    Also, can you please get back to me on our project? Thanks!

  12. rosross says:

    ‘a piece of night broken off’ – brilliant way with words.

  13. Rosemary Nissen-Wade says:

    I think this is wonderful. It reads like a piece of traditional mythology.

  14. Beautiful. The crows searing the valley – words on a page.

  15. kim881 says:

    There’s something that draws me to black birds – I was tempted to post one about a raven but changed my mind. So I was delighted to read your poem about crows I love the opening:

    ‘He was a piece of night,
    broken off,
    left behind.
    A crow smudging daylight
    and in his eye a star was trapped’

    and the lines:

    ‘gathering up a thousand
    crow-dropped stars.
    It led them to a hollow,
    there they pooled and waited’.
    A wonderful poem!
    Have you read any of Stephen Gregory’s books. I really enjoyed Wakening the Crow and The Cormorant.

  16. I do like this. Crow as creator of stars. Gorgeous.

  17. Oh, I love this. And I love your doodle – rather more accomplished than the doodles I usually manage, I have to say. This adds another gorgeous element to my corvidae mythology collection. I was reading about broadside poetry publishing last week – a poem and an image on a single sheet. This would work so well for that. We should poetry bomb the world.

  18. this has to be my favourite for the theme from the very first sight of crow in that astounding opening- am a corvid-phile anyway and your poem captures the them in a ” cloud burst of crows,”

  19. loved the doodle and the piece of poem written there…the third stanza is beautiful!

  20. emangarduque says:

    Amazing write. Mythical river of the crow. One of the best I have read

  21. lillian says:

    A crow smudging daylight……you’ve created a poem of mythical proportions here. I agree with Glenn….this would make a wonderful children’s book. Did you draw the doodle? The crow? You are a man of many talents! 🙂

  22. Janice says:

    For me a seamless imagining very well done.

  23. magpieboy says:

    This is a stunning poem. Such an original idea. You handle it beautifully and as always have such an eye for nature. There are some excellent images here Paul.

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