A crow flies backwards

a crow flies backwards
over the house
in which a young man took his life

the old shaman says everything
must go back to that moment
when hope abandoned his heart

the earth must kneel
and surrender that time
to the universe —

but resurrection is not enough,
doesn’t that kind of death
demand retribution?

shouldn’t the cosmos fold itself
into the darkness
where pain turned to harm?

the crow lands back on a bough
and swallows its song,
there is the weighted silence of dread

eternity bows low, a sun
repurposes the sky — who will ask,
who will grant forgiveness now?

41 thoughts on “A crow flies backwards

  1. This is so beautiful, Rajani – the image of the crow flying backward is so vivid. Sad, the shaman saying everything must go back to the moment when hope abandoned the young man’s heart. So much pain everywhere. A very beautiful poem. So much forgiveness needed.

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  2. Luckily when hope abandons the heart we are devastated and sometimes it takes ages to recover but usually we can. We gain experience this way and learn to face the world once again.

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  3. The crow flying backwards is an interesting metaphor for these disturbing times, Rajani. As you know, I am fascinated by corvids and the myths and legends associated with them. I love the lines:
    ‘the crow lands back on a bough
    and swallows its song,
    there is the weighted silence of dread’.

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  4. When something this heartbreaking happens, I imagine many of us would wish for some sort of magic to rewind things to the moment we could yell “Stop!” and our loved one would listen. It does feel as if the world should grieve too for such an unnatural loss.

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  5. i loved the use of language here, taut but exquisite. The imagery is dark, but lovely.
    shouldn’t the cosmos fold itself
    into the darkness
    where pain turned to harm?”
    : wow! very memorable lines.

    Like

  6. It’s no doubt heartbreaking.. the point at which one decides to end their life 😦 especially moved by; “shouldn’t the cosmos fold itself into the darkness where pain turned to harm?”

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  7. This is exquisitely written, so graphically describing the abject pain and misery of suicide, and the wounded souls it leaves behind as well. Bravo

    Like

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