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what holds (us

November 5, 2010

by Daniela Elza


crow.d I

as a child I would hear them	       at dawn
in my bed 		   on the eighth floor

(imagine them)	   all huddled around
chimneys and	   TV antennas

		   in a chorus 

high above   the winter city.

at such a tend.er time
			     I could even hear them
through	     the thinning walls of dreams

just before 	    the first high heels	clatter
onto the morning pavement.


crow.d II

we weave our destinies daily
with a scream and a rattle

a whine and a coo
a caw and a cackle.

among the city’s n.eon signs humming
homing us in.	  crooning

from warm beds	  from cedar lined nests
cradling speckled eggs.

when we chopped the trees down 

and offered you dumpsters to dive in
back alleys to raise your young

what do you choose to line your nests with?


crow.d III

they perch behind   my ear.	
nest there     in my hair.	
their carrion breath 		permeates
the spaces 		 between. temples 

full 		 of r e s t l e s s

the place turns 		     so b.lack
I could 	   mistake it for 



“All the words, all the silences disguised
as words, adrift between us and the unsaid.”
—Robert Bringhurst

crow.d IV

I hear the black charred voice of 
all the words		from the c r o w ns of trees

it is here among	        all the silences
disguised as words that one raven speaks

among many 	        crows.

only the water a.drift		            between us
reflects 	 as we cross 	everyday

back 			        and forth
from the city 		(its skyline call.igraphy)

to perch in the st.ark branches of memory

and the unsaid

			        w.here we are 

		in between 
				is where (we float
		our meaning.


crow.d V

from this far 	 
		 from this end of the field
p.ages flutter into    memory	     )   )   )
	with	 my eyes half closed

even the gallows looks         (as if
it has always been	              t.here.

take turns      passing on      sharp-
eyed		secrets.	

the letters—		faceless.

caught heavy		in the mind’s gravity.
named	crows		      turning 
white.		as black 	      snow
falls on	deaf ears.

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Daniela Elza (blog) has written with and around crows for more than a decade. The crows remain a mystery to her. She know, for sure, they have a lot to say. She has decided to put them in a book and let them sort it out. Daniela’s work has been published in over 42 print, online, and peer-reviewed publications. Daniela is the recipient of this year’s Pandora’s Collective Citizenship Award.

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  1. November 5, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    “what do you choose to line your nests with?”

    Great, great stuff. Thank you, Daniela.

  2. Christi Kramer
    November 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Beautiful.. so very, very beautiful. What a treasure to have these words here!

  3. November 6, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    So nice to have the opportunity to hear you read your own words…

    Re: “what do you choose to line your nests with?”

    Your question for crows, was, this morning, a ? I asked of myself ~

  4. November 13, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks Rob, Christi, and Karyn.
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment. It can get kind of lonely otherwise. :-)

    Karyn, me too, I ask myself that ? each time I read the poem… I also hear it when I walk downtown and see the homeless people in the alleys…

  1. November 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm
  2. January 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm
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