Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Poetry Year: Entry #69

In which Your Humble Blogger tries to make something out of waste:

"A Gathering of Crows"

Like shivers of dust from a rug
That's been beaten over a line,
Crows scattered from the tapestry
Of the sky and settled on piles
Of trash. They made the only sounds
Among the houses, which were locked
For the day while labors were performed
Elsewhere. The great suburban silence.

Very little of the garbage
Actually remained confined
To cans and bags. A grand herd of
Disposable goods had been loosed
Onto blacktop fields, and the wind
Could corral just a few pieces
Along the curb. How it got spilled,
No one had been around to say.

The news from recent days had been
Black: a lawmaker's hopes exploding
Onto a parking lot, birds falling
And fish bellying in large groups
And dying at the foot of man.
No one could explain this, either.
We just assembled on crows' wings,
Shivering over pictures of waste.

The great national silence.

* * *

This was written not long after Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head in a Safeway parking lot. Also in the news around this time were stories of fish populations showing up dead in rivers and large flocks of birds falling from the sky and dying.

The first stanza is decent, and the last three lines are ones I would keep -- can you tell that those lines are where the poem started? :) Otherwise, I think that the transition into the third stanza is way too abrupt and ungrounded, and the imagery in the second stanza doesn't do much for me. However, crows provided an image in another poem written after this one, and that one, I think, uses them more successfully, so I've posted this poem for the sake of a later comparison.

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