jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Something to crow about

After nearly a month of living in a pnumonia/sinus induced fog, I have finally written a poem. It's kind of a vicious circle. Feeling crummy prevents me from writing. I swear, whenever I have a sinus infection I can not think. Words come out wrong, and sometimes they don't come at all. Anyway, feeling crummy stops me from writing, which, in turn, makes me feel even worse. You can not run, when you are a writer. You can not hide. The words are always there and they must come out. Must.

Anyway. The poem. For the past two years I have glanced outside expectantly on New Year's Day, hoping to see a beautiful goldfinch or an oriole. My "year bird" for two years running--a crow. At first, I took it as a bad omen. But, in truth, crows are not so bad. They have personality. And, it is obviously a sign from the universe if the crow is my bird of the year two years running. Thus, my poem. Comments & critique welcome!

ps: Please visit the new site Polkadot Witch and I have created! poem. It's way cool!

January 1, 2008

Resolve to be more like a crow.
Be the first bird,
the first winged creature roughly
half the population sees
on the first day of the new year.
Change name from mom
to American mom.
Wear more black.
Let the roots grow in
one dark feather at a time.
Be instructive. Land often in snow
to demonstrate the subtleties of black and white.
Scare people,
a little.
Hop rakishly away,
assume the air of rogue clown.
Approach worms, dead squirrels
and handouts with hesitation.
Refuse to fall prey to rampant
intestinal disease. Do not drop dead
in great numbers so as to appear
in a sack on local news.
Live by the glow of a night light,
the moon, a lamppost, a tossed cigarette.
Errant owls may dive for your head,
devour your precious flesh.
On a day when no-one is looking
break all toes but the essential three
on each stick leg. Hop out the back door.
Claim a wide open space.
Avoid the glimmer and flash,
of your neighbor’s trash. Stay on task.
With the beak you’ve surely grown, tear
two small holes in the carrion of your wrists.
Slide the hollow wing bones
of a fallen brother or sister straight in
along the radius of your forearm.
Test your wings.
Try to fly.


Blogger GreenishLady said...

Oh... Wonderful! I wish now I'd paid attention on New Year's day. Was it a starling? A robin? A crow?
I love this. Thank you.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Wahoo! This is soaringly good. Am planning to savor again over my late-night snack tonight. Thank you and congrats.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

I love this, especially: 'Land often in snow
to demonstrate the subtleties of black and white'. You really captured the crow's character. What was my first bird this year? I'm going to have to think about that...

9:58 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

I like this a lot. My favorite lines on first reading are:
Let the roots grow in
one dark feather at a time.
Be instructive. Land often in snow

And I'd never thought about it before, but I think you're right: crows are often my first birds of the New Year, too. In fact, back on New Year's 2000, with all the apprehension of a Y2K disaster, I remember hearing a crow's wings first thing -
snow fog at dawn
the wingbeats of a maybe crow
fade into the would-be distance

- or something like that (can't find the poem off-hand).

10:55 AM  
Blogger Mariacristina said...

Wonderful! A tour de force. If you keep writing like this, I expect to be crowing about your work all over the web!

Really, I love this poem.

Sorry about your sinus. Check out my
yoga blog:


I wrote a post on neti, nasal irrigation. I know, yuck, but it helps!

8:53 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

hope you are well now.

this is a wonderful poem.

one too many

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Dave -- lovely poem, a poem of careful attention.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Jo said...


2:31 AM  
Blogger paisley said...

that was really clever... i cannot belive the amount of pondering you must have done on the subject... very ewll thought out!!!!

9:12 PM  
Blogger litlove said...

Hi! I'm running a new blog called The Best of New Writing on the Web (http://tbrbooks.wordpress.com) and I'd very much like to feature this poem in the next edition (out on Monday 14th January). Would you be ok with me crossposting this at the site? I think it's an absolutely wonderful poem.

2:25 PM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

Thank you everyone, for your encouraging comments!

litlove: Thank you so much for your offer. I would be honored! I tried to find you on web, but cannot. Please email me at jillypoet@verizon.net and tell me how to find you!

9:40 PM  

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