Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Poetic Crow

crow on beach

Crows get a bad rap, don't they? When I saw this one at the beach a few weeks back, it struck me as odd because I'm used to seeing white seagulls and other light-colored birds by the sea. Seeing a black bird against the serene, pastel backdrop of the ocean landscape made the crow stick out like a sore thumb - it was a bit jarring. Crows are always symbols of something dark and/or sinister in my poetry...they tend to represent negative emotions, fears, etc.

Editing this photo made me think of a poem I wrote awhile back about insomnia, which can definitely be a dark place - both literally and figuratively! I think everyone can relate, at some point, to a restless night of tossing and turning...of your brain being stuck in overdrive while the minutes tortuously tick by. It seems during those times that our worries suddenly morph into mountains. It's always such a relief when morning comes...our troubles shrink down and suddenly seem manageable again in daylight.

I thought I'd share my poem today with Poetry Pantry. If you enjoy writing poetry, or would like to start, this is a great place to share and I highly recommend it!


A crow stands watch beside my pillow
Talons sharp beside my face
He eyes my thoughts as if
They're spun in sugar
Glittering softly inside my head
And my heart, it fills with dread

He struts across my restless mind
Oily feathers on fanned display
He caws and croaks, and robs me blind
Of peace buried far, where the meanings are
Pecking at cracks in my fragile guard
And he croons his wicked song

Comfort in the dawn's soft light
I twist and cup the morning sun
Evil-eyed raven flies away
My reveries dangling from his beak
He hides, with glee, in shadowed trees
And scavenges his next prey.

© Sherri Brannon

There is a close link between insomnia and despair. The loss of hope comes with the loss of sleep. The difference between paradise and hell: you can always sleep in paradise, never in hell. ~E.M. Cioran


  1. Very nicely done:) yes, crows are always seen in negative light and they hover over for their prey...

  2. oh my, the talons to the face, strutting across your mind...they do get a bad rap, but that is def vivid enough to capture the feel of insomnia....your reveries dangling from his beak...really a great job on the imagery....

    and a nice pic too...hoping you are sleeping much better...smiles.

  3. Crows are always seen in negative light and they keep hovering for their prey.

  4. Crows have a bad press. Close up they are quite beautiful.

  5. I like the image of "my reveries dangling from his beak". Especially love the photo - so cool to see a crow there.

  6. This is a wonderful example of form put to good use. I love your imaginative description of the crow as a kind of dark insomnia. That first stanza is amazing.

  7. What a fantastically "moody" photo. But it makes me wonder...why did the crow cross the road? :)

  8. Insomnia brings out the worst in all creatures, I think. This CROW is no exception.

  9. Oh, this was so lovely. Insomnia has never been so poetically expressed. I love crows and ravens. We have a murder that visit quite often and taunt our cats (which is good because it keeps the cats from becoming totally insufferable).

  10. This is quite frightening ~ However the metaphors are well done, with the black crows crooning their wicket songs ~

  11. i can see the impish glint the sleep snatcher has in his eyes as he is ready for the next prey. very vividly portrayed.

  12. Wonderful description of a sleepless night! Loved it!

  13. Love your poem and the quote about insomnia so true...

  14. Very nice indeed. And the crows' message is to adjust your flight plans when the winds blow into your life...aloha.