Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I run from the forest.
Out of the darkness I hear its many limbs
strain as they rain foliage on my soul.
A shadow darkens my moonlit path
a crow races towards me, its wings
beat out the rhythm of my heart.
The subtle swish of feathers mocks
my rasped gulps of air.

Suddenly my path ends
there is no where to go
but down

where my toes hover above darkness.
I look over my shoulder.
Stillness reigns as breath
refuses to escape burning lungs.

I watch the crow pull the forest
with black curled claws
draw it over me like a shroud.
I turn, look down into blackness,
into the void that surrounds.
Heart pulsing sounds of fear
race to my throat as screams
that never leave the confines
of my crucified mind.

Feathers whisper in my ears
as a Cimmerian shade
envelopes me.
Shadow fills my sight and for a moment
I face the dark shade
wish only for death
until a song pours through my heart.
Carried in blood it courses
through throbbing veins
chants with ancestral voices
entices me to dance
take a step back.
My foot slides over pebbles
finds little resistance
as I take the lead
hover over emptiness
fall back into nothing.

Arms flail against unfound air
as wings beating against the night
black wings crashing against nothingness
until falling is flying is soaring.

Midnight feathers fanned
I ride the chasm
pierce the night with a blackness
of my own. Glide out of the void
and into refreshing light.
I feel moon rays wash my soul
of eternal emptiness
as they guide me back to the forest
glazed with moon reflected sunlight.

A life that cast only shadows
now soars on the breath of trees.
I glide into the arms of the wild wood
navigate unknown territory within,
begin to see now
as if a milky film had been peeled away
leaving only shiny dark points of light.

Soon I rise up out of the depths
fly to the top of the tallest sentry
spread my wings to open my heart
to the sky, the moon, the stars.

My eye captures another circling
barely visible in the blackest hour.
Surprised to hear my own voice
vibrate the drums of my ears
I blink, take another look
stretch my wings and leap
nearly collide with an image
so like my own
that I cannot be sure
another soars before me.
Its eyes a mirror in which I see
two other shiny spheres
endless reflection.

We sail through the cool predawn air
rise and fall to the beat of our hearts.
Perform against the twilight
a dance rehearsed in lives past
while our eyes echo the fading

© 2000 Joanne Elliott

This piece I wrote after my life was touched by a crow. One day, while out walking, a crow brushed my hair with its wing and not long after my whole life changed.


  1. I used to not like crows, saw them as quite bullies until I discovered that they are one of natures creatures that mate for life and, they both help to raise & protect their young. Now, I have higher regard for these beautiful black winged creatures.
    Lovely, deep, and image filled. Nice to be touched by nature in such a meaningful way.

  2. This read like a dreamscape--very appealing to me in its deep forest voice, and merging of spirit with reality, along with the twist to things that gives. I especially liked the image of the crow catching the forest in his claw and pulling it over you, forcing you to take that plunge into the unknown which ends in rebirth and flight. Lovely poem, loved it.

  3. It seems like a near death experience, then the flying and soaring and finding your footing. Seeing someone like your image is a nice ending touch, coming full circle with life.

    Lovely words. Thanks for sharing it !

  4. oh wow...you got my heart going early on with the chase through the forest...great textures through there and then it really came alive in the tranformation to the crow...like the surprise at the voice...this is really nice...

  5. Joanne! This is brilliant! oh my! The imagery, real, the language wonderfully weaved and real, the goosebumps real...and even more so with the addition of your comment! New Favorite alert!

  6. It must be the season of the crow. My poem touches on them as well. I like the dreamscape time changing flying, dropping, mirror trancing - all so halloween and poetic for me. Well done.

  7. Joanne, a great write here. I enjoyed it !

  8. Thank you all for your comments. I'm sorry to have not gotten around to reading much...it's been a crazy few days. I will sit down to my fill of reading this weekend. Happy Halloween!

  9. smiles. thanks for popping in tonight...hope the days slow down for you just a bit....happy halloween