Crow Medicine

The black body of crow
sits heavy on a leafless branch
surveying the street with dark inquisitive eyes.
A low winter sun slowly burns off the fog,
lighting the gray city with hints of warmth.
The colors of autumn have dropped to the earth,
the palette of winter here for the season of rain.
When I was younger I’d walk forested canyons,
the air rich with evergreen smell and spray
from rushing creeks and rivers.
I hold them now in my mind,
letting them tell their stories in words,
returning their gifts to the people.
With crow I study the street,
calling up the ancient memory
I see in the bird’s dark eyes.
None of us are really apart
though the world will tell us so.
This is crow medicine
you hear them barking
from their murder in the trees.



photo by Dimitar Donovski


10 Responses to “Crow Medicine”

  1. patrick says:

    eloquent Don – they talk to me each morning from my dawn Hot Tub ritual – Flying to the east and reading my thoughts.

  2. Eric Dunn says:


  3. Rose Meeker says:

    A vivid set of images – both your walking the forested canyons, and your communion with Crow.

  4. Tom Figel says:

    Don, you still are younger. The crow is a good subject, such an interesting presence in your area and ours.

  5. William Comer says:

    thank you. tuesday I begin 14 sessions of physical therapy throughout dec. i will look to crow friends’ healing wisdom.

  6. Don…the body of the crow and our own bodies tells us that we are separate…which is a cruel lie.

  7. Elizabeth O Nunn says:

    For many decades, I had a deep, inexplicable fear of birds. Moving here, I set up six bird feeders and two for hummers. Slowly, I began to get to know the birds, what they like, how they eat…simply to honor them. A year later, they tell me when to refill the feeders, when a cat is near, and other communications I would’ve missed had I not learned to love and respect them.
    Crow medicine is universal and inclusive of all who fly by wing and by heart.

  8. Scott MacRae says:

    I hear the sound of our old dear friend Crow in your words and spirit. I hear Crow squawk and laugh at us as we marvel at his clarity.

  9. tom wilson says:

    Don, one of my favorite books of poetry is Crow by Ted Hughes.

  10. David Barnes says:

    Your poems Don, always call up the ancient memory and bring it into the here and now — attention attention here and now here and now — crow medicine in this poem offers that quality of natural magic and time travel. Robbie Robertson writes: “Crow has brought the message to the children of the sun” — and what is the message? The ancient memory is known to be alive here and now, as the low winter sun slowly burns off the fog. Thank you!

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