Crow-Call by Gwen Harwood

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‘He lives eternally who lives in the present’  Tractatus 6.4311

 

Let this be eternal life:

light ebbing, my dinghy drifting

on watershine, dead centre

of cloud and cloud-reflection —

high vapour, mind’s illusion.

 

And for music, Baron Corvo,

my half tame forest raven

with his bad leg unretracted

beating for home, lamenting

or, possibly, rejoicing

that he saw the world at all.

 

Space of a crow-call, enclosing

the self and all it remembers.

Heart-beat, wing-beat, a moment.

My line jerks taut. The cod

are biting. This too is eternal;

the death of cod at twilight.

And this: food on my table

keeping a tang of the ocean.

 

So many, in raven darkness.

Why give death fancy names?

 

Corvo, where have you settled

your crippled leg for the night?

 

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