The crows on my walk build nets
from roof top to tree top in threads
of communication, each juncture a rook–
Kaww Kaww–of the arrival and departure
of my comings and goings.
They know my hair top, my face, my walk,
that I am sympathetic,
that I wouldn’t ridicule or mock
my knowledge that crows lose altitude
and are forced to glide–mid-stride–to speak,
“Here! Here!–Why don’t you know?”
and the echo call from another rook
rocking on top of a pine, “I know! I know!
Watch the jay that nests below”–a corvus cousin–
once sibling in size, now Napoleon stature,
guarding her eggs by avian jousting
with beaks, tools with which to fend, fight, and feint,
the common crow–too big to scare.
Come! Come! to the corvus court–
a study in social proximics–
where Alala stands in the middle
of a concentric circle in judgment:
the pecked of the pecking order.
Balding and scared–for what crow crime?
six surround–jump in–jump back–Kaww Kaww–
did she take a mate meant for another?
A dozen, further back–Kaww Kaww–have opinions too.
In hunger, did she eat her own eggs?
The net stretches out to twenty and more.
Was it Alala’s time to die? To be consumed
is the proper order of things. If she cannot conform,
she cannot persist with the masses in a corvus nest.
I, like Alala, refuse to conform to a social order
that eats what it doesn’t understand.
- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones