A Cannon Beach Crow Album

Ursula K. Le Guin

Photos by Rex Amos


PBO80041.JPG (Haystack Rock, large crow upper R)
I. Mislaid

I wrote a poem called The Local Crow

the poem got lost long ago

so did the crow

still sometimes

the black wings come across my mind

the words I cannot find


PB080031.JPG (flying w dropped wings over sand)
II. December

Snow halfseen in the rain

on a dark east wind.

A crow flies the hard way.

Winter is my mind.

Gusts of smoke, ghosts of snow

through the old trees

blow on the crow’s wind

to a cold sea.


IMG_0013.jpg (crow and eagle in tree)
III. The Gathering

They came in their usual black

unusually silent, sat

on one branch or another,

shifting about, uneasy,

as if the funeral was late.

Dead ivy smothered

their ruinous chapel.

One by one they took flight

heavy, reluctant.

IMG_0014.jpg (crow telling off eagle in tree)

PB250012.JPG (crow meditating by water
IV. West Nile Disease

Crow on the broken tree, cawing.

Nobody answers. A meaningless

mineral noise from the ocean

crashing and hissing, half rhymic, unceasing.

But not the characteristic indignant

croak, or the rattle they make when they’re courting.

Anthracite-shining, solid of body,

firm on the ground, heavy aloft.

Sociable creatures, gossipy. Excellent parents.

Crows do not migrate. Crows hang around.

We brought the virus, we tourists, highflyers,

over from Egypt, over the oceans

crashing and hissing the way they were doing

ages before anyone cawed, anyone courted,

anyone heard, and the way they’ll be doing

after we’ve all gone back into silence

and nobody answers. Never a word.

PB250013.JPG (takes off)

PB080023.JPG (crow in shallow water with peanut)
V. Corvus

Crows are the color of anarchy

and close up they’re a little scary.

An eye as bright as anything.

Having a pet crow would be

like having Voltaire on a string.


PA250019.JPG (crow aloft, blurred)
VI. The Washington Street Gang:
A Corvidic Semipalindrome

Crows continually going and coming

call to other crows, caw, cark, talk,

and flit like heavy fragments of cast iron, black,

thrown from this tree to that,

and in that tree or this sit throned

like black, heavy fragments of cast iron, talk,

cark, call, caw to other crows that flit

and sit in a continual coming and going of crows.


Thank you for the crows, Rex.

Webthing brings you to navigation links
Website Copyright © 2018 Ursula K. Le Guin
Updated Sunday, 26-Feb-2017 17:28:50 PST