January Ekphrastic Challenge, January 7

Paul Brookes of the Wombwell Rainbow is hosting a special January ekphrastic challenge. Today is Day 1. Thank you, Paul.

My poem today responds to Kerfe Roig’s image, “Acquainted with the night close.” I realize it’s probably not a crow in the painting.

Kerfe Roig, “Acquainted with the night close”

Night Seer

Crow soars through the brume, the leaden sky
awash with whirling dreams, spindrift from the sea of night,
and shiny-bright, he gathers them.

No trickster, he, but seer
of what might be in time with chance, he caws
a warning, laughs in love—there’s so much to be done—

in the rustling of ancient winds, he breathes
a break in darkness, drops omens in oceans
and hopes on moonbeams,

watches the stars. His eyes reflect their gleam.

19 thoughts on “January Ekphrastic Challenge, January 7

  1. Ah, yes, you give the crow (or the black bird, whatever we choose to see in this picture) respect, as deserved. But oh, your phrases are sublime: “drops omens in oceans and hopes on moonbeams.” YES, crows, intelligent creatures, are used as symbols in so many stories because of their ability to be seers. Early in the morning I stand out on my front porch in the frigid air and watch the crows, standing sentinel on a nearby roof, cawing their message. BE aware! Be Love! Be Present.
    And you are a poet who has such Presence in your words, Merril.

  2. I like Kerfe’s mesmerizing image very much, and your poem fits it perfectly. It subtlely but clearly evokes the many different ways crows have been portrayed as symbols and omens in the literary and visual arts.

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