Wheatfield with Crows

They begin the day
with their claws
firm in the muck
beneath the grandeur
of hay and harvest —

They end it merging
in the gathering grey,
leaving the world
to its haze and crickets,
jarring the quiet
in snicks and slashes.

Blue-ward they rain,
back to the silence
where they belong
now and forever,
too black to fall
in love with
a trite patch of gold.

Just sanctified weed, all that.

Those and the empty
wind can’t quell
the timeless hunger
cawing
in such mighty guts.

Loathe to think
of blind bats and geckos,
they love to upset
an upturned sleep.
In flight a revenge
is planned for the night,
a gory lust is pecked at.

In the tattered
gossamer domes
echoes a pledge
of no-return,
over the receding howl
of a gravel streak,
never for them to walk on,
sleep on, or mate.

Some veer to the left,
some startle the west,
the ones straight up
busy masking
crescents
of satanic moons.

Bring on the grimness,
heavier the better.

Off beyond the drowned
coals of horizon,
a scatter of eggs
are waiting to hatch,
beside the hissing
wet sun, to wing up
a nightmare.

If they fail
— which they will —
you’ll still meet
the marks they leave,
tortuous things etched
on every grain
you touch,
in their exhales trapped
in your bread,
in the beads
of blood and wine
streaming down
the fangs of a smile.

A tribute to Wheatfield with Crows, the painting by Vincent van Gogh. However, if you sense a contemporary metaphor in this poem, it’s not entirely unintentional.

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