crows at the end of their daily commute to their nighttime roost at Still Creek, from this wonderful video by Daphne Xplores

fifty crows suddenly land
on the rooftop, all around me
a cacophony of raucous sound
and the fluffing of feathers, a presence, an intelligence,
animated, excited,
glancing around
commuteetym.: Lat.
meaning to transform, change into something else
attuned to each other
and more alive
than this lost, scared,
bewildered human
could ever hope to be
“To hawks, our gritty country lanes look like shingle beaches; the polished roads gleam like seams of granite… All the monstrous artefacts of man are natural, untainted things to them.” — JA Baker, The Peregrine
my roof’s a mere staging ground
a noisy-greeting meetup before
the flight to join the others,
a short, imperative migration
to Still Creek: a daily
dusk pandemonium
of collective joy and connection
“Still Creek:
Each Morning/
We Fly/
To Work/
Steady Steps/
Spinning Wheels/
Till Like The Crows/
We Return/
To Roost.”
Poem written on 9 adjacent pylons supporting the SkyTrain that runs parallel to the crows’ daily flyway to their roost in Burnaby
a glimpse, perhaps
of what we were like
before we got lost in language
and concepts
and removed our selves
from this,
from everything,
in order to try
to make sense of it
“If you turn outside yourself — to the birds and animals and the quickly-changing places where they live — you may hear something beyond words…”
— John Gray, The Silence of Animals
not that we had any choice.

the crows observe me,
with sideways glances
of intense, indifferent curiosity

“The hardest thing of all [for the human animal] is to see what is really there… It will not be meshed in words” — JA Baker, The Peregrine
and then, as if cued
by some unseen signal,
some first-follower call,
they are off from here,
a rowdy clamour of wings,
caws, turning to catch the wave
of communion:

and then
the silence

“the hardest thing of all…

“The world in which you live from day to day is made from habit and memory…. [Our glimpses of the real world] are the times when the self, also made from habit and memory, gives way. Then, if only for a moment, you may become something other than you have been… Contemplation… aims not to change the world, or to understand it, but merely to let it be…”
— John Gray, The Silence of Animals
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2 Responses to commute

  1. Jesse Clark says:

    So much to appreciate in all this…
    Maybe take a peek at Becky’s bird drawings…!

    Always Thanks Dave

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Her work is amazing, both her natural drawings and her human portraits (eg St Francis). I didn’t realize she has a new book out, which I’ve just ordered.

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