They swirl above me, swashes of crows, in a chaos of dashes. They cackle, arguing amongst themselves, bickering with the sky.

These large murders are new. I haven’t seen them like this, as if they’re scolding me. For, I think they follow me. I know you think they follow you too. I would ask you to look up. But who am I to ask?

I ask them if they’re trying to speak to me. Of course, because I’m self-absorbed, I answer for them, “Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Some of them large enough to follow me around for the rest of my life.”

Then, I realize, it’s my ability to communicate that turns them into metaphors. They’re my mistakes. They’re yours too. They are representations of me and you. No wonder their caws fill the air.

And that soothes me, but in a disturbing way. I can understand why it might make you feel uncomfortable. They fly as if they’re in love with tension.

As a child, I believed their eyes saw everything and they shared every sight they saw. They’ve seen everything. Once you’ve seen everything, you can’t believe anything. That’s why there’s so many of them.

The air is thick with eyes. Theirs, ours. Have I lost you yet? It’s ok. Disconnecting is a natural reaction. Perhaps, a survival mechanism. I reach for my phone to take a photo of them. You must see this, even though you’ve already seen it. For you’ve seen everything. I don’t care whether you believe. Let me show you again.

There’s not enough space for them to land. I feel sorry for us. The trees are lower than all the buildings. We’ve built it like that.

We stay inside. Our mistakes can belong to someone else. We don’t want to see everything. We don’t want to share anything. We just want to believe.


44 thoughts on “Crows”

  1. You know, I am sure you have heard of the norse mythology of Huggin and Munnin? I have a particular take on its meaning. But reading your poem, it expands my understanding of it. Thank you so much! It was not only impactful, but it has provoked a change within me, in perspective. 👍✌️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Knowing crows and ravens very well, I was in tune with your prosaic poem much longer than you thought possible. They see indeed everything and remember everything. They keep an eye on you, even though you think they are not looking. They tolerate you at a certain distance, but raise your camera to capture them and they are gone. Thank you for your insightful poem not just about crows or ravens, Elan!

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  3. Funny I should find your post today. For the first time that I remember there were 3 or 4 crows outside my window in the tree and they seemed to be vying for something. They swooped on each other as they each landed on a branch. There may be babies but I can’t see that high. They were only there for about 3 or 4 minutes, making a lot of noise. Then they were gone. Weird.

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  4. Interesting. Here in PDX, there are swarming murders of crows that number around 100 or more. I am witnessing this more and more, in the city center, suburbs, and city parks. They are very adept at city scrounging. And when they gather in these numbers, they love to caw it up. I’ve watched people grab their phones to take a picture at this oddity of crow-topia. It’s quite beautiful and eerie.

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  5. This line gave me chills, “Then, I realize, it’s my ability to communicate that turns them into metaphors. They’re my mistakes. They’re yours too. They are representations of me and you. No wonder their caws fill the air.”

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Birds are often the messengers of our thoughts. But they can also be used to inform us of so much more. In most Indigenous cultures birds are often seen as conduits to the other side and are respected and honored in such. The crow being one of great significance in many Native American Indian cultures. But I also know some people who have crows as their spiritual guides and often experience more interesting interactions with these creatures than others. Perhaps your mere meetings are more connected than they seem. Beautiful writing and great food for thought. Many blessings to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yes, I have to admit, there was a slight “disconnection”. But I like how you had ended this post. Quite deep writing, it is.


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