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Adrian G R Scott

Adrian G R Scott

poetry photography guiding

poet photographer guide

A Shadowy Self Portrait
The Anxious Poet's Latest Podcast
The End of Long Line - A Sapphire Sky
The Ubiquity of Ravens

On Turning 60 

Here is a poem that came to me in a dream. It says something about entering that phase when I am a novice to the twilight.

    A Raven in my Sleep

I

The caw sounded the moment I caught sight

of a deep blackness outside the window.

I was seated at a desk in a classroom

the blackboard’s thin white letters spelling out

the pointless exposition of insideness.

 

The dark shape configured itself into

outstretching wings, lifting the black   body

off from the high hawthorn hedge and sailing

through the open window, lightly raising

and alighting on my slight shoulder’s perch.

 

Talons puckering the skin of my blade

with just enough pressure to let me know

that they were fitted to tear flesh with ease,

releasing again, a sign of tender

invitation to impending friendship.

 

Then the weight of the bird’s body pressing

down on me for propulsion, ascending,

dismissing the airless room, my body

thrumming with the sense of absence; raising

my conviction that I should follow it.

 

II

I am now in the disquiet of following

there are times the Raven is just ahead

and I can hear his raucous caw and see

the trail of quilled, silken darkness he leaves

ahead on the path as unlit waymarks.

 

His fierce eye piercing me for some time

creating in me an awe of the darkness,

the way it helps me shed the sacks of light

I keep stored to stave off my dread of the

dusk and dimness that evening brings on.

 

This egregious comrade lives on carrion

the detritus of the battles I fight,

the physicality of aftermath,

consuming creature, opportunistic,

bellicose in iridescent raiment.

 

His flight path across the field, settling

on the dry-stone wall just ahead of me,

his movements a tenebrous alphabet,

the steps of a sloe black caliginous dance

his lurching sweep and his staccato steps.

 

III

The ubiquity of Ravens always with

me now, no escape for my anxious heart,

all its fears enumerating themselves,

their ungenerosity familiar,

gathering around, their dark eyes glinting.

 

But this bombazine flock are truth bearers

and require my same heart to shape itself

in an upsurge of nerve, born of terror,

of that scavenging moment of lack, that

acceptance of my true unfinishedness.

 

Those who allow shadows to loom over

those unfeasible optimisms we spend

so much time chasing, are initiated

into the congress of Ravens, a gathered

unkindness that quickly uncossets them.

 

Shadowing the unilluminated

vagrancy that is the Raven’s flight path,

slowly accepting in my life’s last years,

to be a novice of the twilight as

I was once a new-born glimmer of dawn.

a poet’s faith – thoughts from the rivelin valley

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