Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Windweaving Of The Minds Of Crows

a walk one afternoon
of blustery snowy weather,
i found a dark quiet corner
on a country street
at Mercer and Ryckman
of tall spindly spruces.
a nook amongst houses.

clumped on snowy boughs,
a congregation of crows
facing this way and that
dozens of crows sat cackling

snowfulls of wind
burst down on us
moving tall trees to sway
proved strong wood to be woven
like supple cloth

crows leapt into wind
wove their way high
into complex wind curls
pulling wings in
to plummet like rocks

miraculously, i thought
peeling out
twist against whirlwind
feathers splayed

to land just so
almost sighing
a feathery touch
beside their fellows
on a branch of snow


amazingly skilled!
sky full of acrobats
and not a wing snapped
not a crow plummeted
to earth

their wings weigh nothing!
thin bird bones hold, how?
interlocked feathers?
stronger than bone?

tense feathers like fingers?
THAT much control?
sense eddies of wind with
hundreds of feather tips?

what fine invention
woven exoskeleton!

and i yearned to know
do they play for wind?
do crows take pleasure
in mastery of wind?
or only mildly inconvenienced
to use pedestrian craft against wind
while merely adjusting
social arrangements on boughs?

even so,
when as crow kids
to learn such fine skills
they must have played these games

and i yearned to know
ignorant of crow speech
become a scientist?
spend grueling winter months
to huddle in bird blinds
fingers numb watching
clever experiment
after subtle experiment
to trick them to spill
their secrets?

winding crow flight
inspires me to thought weaving
how do brains grow?
more flexible weaving there!
never hardwired straight from the genes.
no, nerves play,
weave through each other
while crow kids play,
weave through windgames
mind and brain
weave each other

into dense but flexible nets
of thought and skill

worlds became woven
that fine wintry day