raven Thanks to Charly Z I’ve discovered that ‘my poetry form’ is the sonnet. That’s an anal-retentive form of poetry that follows an abab/cdcd/efef/gg rhyme scheme, each line of which is in iambic pentameter (i.e. contains 10 syllables, with the even-numbered syllables stressed). The quiz site contains a delightful example of a modern sonnet, so I thought I would give it a try. In honour of my exacting debating partner, Raven , and the engaging ornithologist Bernd Heinrich , I chose Poe’s corvus corax as the subject for this hommage .  By the way, while tribal cultures consider ravens gods, in modern culture a group of ravens is, tellingly, called either an unkindness or a conspiracy. Heinrich reports in Mind of the Raven that, behind only dolphins and humans (in that order), ravens rank third among Earth’s species in ‘encephalization’ (brain/body weight ratio), an indicator of intelligence.


The ravens come to feast upon the deer.
Their talons are too dull to tear like claws.
They smartly team with wolves, as hunting peers
And point the way to road kill with their caws.

These creatures love to play, nurse others’ chicks,
Do barrel-rolls and bathe collectively,
Use rocks for self-defense and play with sticks
And flying upside down proclaim they’re free.

But still, to man, an animal can’t feel —
We daren’t believe they love or hurt or think.
We cage them all in labs and farms concealed:
The human ‘masters’ cannot face the stink.

Our bankrupt, separate culture’s madness reigns.
We think. Ergo we end the world, with brains.

This entry was posted in Collapse Watch, Creative Works. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Outstanding! Now, take a shot at the Italian form, octave followed by sestet.

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Thank you.Christopher: OK, which rhyming form for the sestet? After the abba/abba octet, the choices for sestet are cde/cde, cdc/cdc, or cde/dce.

  3. Shit. You had to go and ask. Now I have to look it up. Stay tuned.

Comments are closed.