(Part of Living Poem)
Henry comes out with a handful of food
For the crows that claim three acres of woods
Above the head of a creek.
He seeks a connection to the flock of cacklers
Who track and recognize us human actors
And whisper subtle critiques.
There once was a people called the Crows,
Keepers of the secrets of herbal medicine,
Who lived in Thessaly above Hellenic Athens.
I think the name, “Crow,” is defamatory. “Black”
Is what Apollo called his formerly white-enough messenger
When the old crow had snitched on Coronis, his paramour.
Coronis, the Crow princess Apollo had made his own,
Had slept with Ischys, keeper of the mistletoe, though
She was pregnant then with the seed of Lord Apollo.
Apollo had the two killed and adopted Asclepius,
The kid he’d pulled from the womb of the princess
And co-opted to found his Hellenic School of Medicine.
The people whom history displaces metamorphose
Into an oracular flock of cynics in dark clothes.
Maybe it is time to feed the crows.
--Rob Neufeld, Oct. 11, 2018