voices from the cascadia bioregion

the apt black of crow flight

by ted jean


Crow stumbles into
the open air
after a rough night
of bad rabbit
road kill
and concussive
ice storm
out of the east.

His yawp is forced,
at first, the usual
rehearsal of unrepentance,
that bends toward bliss
as he approaches the arc
of the frozen river.

 


“The Apt Black of Crow Flight” is from Crow Sonnets.

 

    crow

    by ted jean

    
    
    Marsha throws on her jacket,
    jumps the fence where it is bent
    
              the december field is bare
    
    she stalks the erstwhile rye
    beside the dogwood brush and hazelnut
    
              pheasants startle the ditches
    
    stubble and mud require care,
    to get precisely nowhere
    
              our girl bestrides the only stump
    
    field Marsha: cows astonished,
    the crow crowd loud with scandal
    
    way off, the lights of Ashland
    rise on the solstice
    
    circles she back, black, to the dark house

     


    “Crow” is from Crow Sonnets.

     

      hwy 38 along the umpqua near rainrock

      by ted jean

      
      

      High crow and low crow
      ply the light above the river,
      rising and falling against the neon backdrop alder.

      One seems the shadow of the other,
      disjunct in their dithering
      as a fish with its refraction on a riffled pond.

      Are they husband and wife crow?
      Where do they go?
      Some farcical mission, doubtless,
      as they are, after all, crows.

      We are driving upriver the opposite way,
      Amy staring off into the spruce shadow
      and sunlight strobe, possibly deep in thought.
      Or not. We will never know.

       


      “Hwy 38 Along the Umpqua Near Rainrock” is from Crow Sonnets.

       

        statement of place: ted jean

        Even natives complain of the Oregon rain. Not me. The low gray sky, the sifting drizzle. I get a sense of enclosure, calm, quiet. Along a November trail, the brushy bank of dripping hazelnut and thimbleberry thrums with drowsy satisfaction. The streets of downtown Portland reflect puddled light from welcoming shops. Frogs sing in the weeds with all their little green hearts. Golf course coyote regards me urbanely over her dewy shoulder. Beyond her, the firs recede into a pewter mist. Raised in the hot, dry sun of Northern California, I have converted to a better, wet religion.