Three Red Crows
Did I tell you I have seen the red crows again?
I caught them eerily flapping in the garden,
At too late after midnight,
As you slept, and I, as so often, could not.
There they were,
Preening and stabbing at the night´s black heart.
First there were two. And then, as I watched,
They were joined by a third. A murder.
Conniving and conspiring with soft caws,
Clearly up to no good. And then,
As though in sudden agreement,
They gravidly arose, one after another,
Harbingers overladen with troublesome dreams.
As each, above the treetops, attained a certain height,
It was battered out of view, to a different quarter,
By a gale too red for human sight.
As the last disappeared, I heard you turning in your sleep.
You muttered something about ´the roses needing water´.
The day after, my last good eye has frozen over.
And now I am reduced in sight to umbral darkness,
And the occasional shuffle and replay
Of those ominously cryptic silhouettes.
Did I tell you that, at last,
They have returned our missing luggage,
That we had lost that time
When we were caught between trains,
And we, with the one bag,
That had fallen open on the platform,
That we had desperately scrabbled to repack,
As best we could, went off to the north,
While the remaining bags continued south,
Before we could get to them?
The leering, vindictive station master,
In his shabby, ill-fitting uniform,
So clearly enjoying his little bit of power,
And the opportunity to sow a little confusion
Into the lives of a couple of unwitting travellers,
Who had mistakenly placed themselves at his mercy,
When all he need do is follow the rules,
To the letter.
(Why do I see mountains in the distance?)
The bags have clearly been tampered with, opened.
So they have almost certainly been nested in
By those unwholesome blue spiders
That had overrun that horrible, grey carriage,
That no-one else seemed to mind or notice.
This evokes a fateful foreboding in me,
Of a resigned inevitability,
As to how things must work out from here on,
Though the details as yet are unclear.
Unsurprisingly, I am rather disturbed
At these unwelcome premonitions.
Did I tell you that I found a snake in our bed?
Yeah, weird, huh?
It´s hard to know how to interpret that one.
As ambiguous signs go it´s one of the best.
What I would say though, is,
If you still know where to find the three white swans,
Or even the one wise owl,
Then now would seem to be a good time
To ask for their help.
Copyright © John Ferngrove 2009