Jenni Blackmore - Selected Poems
Selected poems from Counting Crows


Search for the Second Crow
Jenni Blackmore

I've grown tired of counting crows
in this place where life has led to
of searching, always searching
for a second set of wings

I stumble over talismen
hoarded from the past
gathered to protect, prevail
detritius of dreams, all doomed to fail

I'm tired of counting crows
and I cast these objects from me
shining stones and shards of glass
feathers, icons cast in brass

For too many years I held them
kept them long enough
these days I choose to plot my course
without a constant call to unknown force

and when a single crow appears
I know Crow One is gone
(dangles on a stick above some corn
playmate of the wind and things forlorn)

It's Second Crow who now presides,
takes precedence, provides
Joy! to bleach out sorrow's stain
Joy! invited to remain.

(c) 1997, Jenni Blackmore

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Old Bones
Jenni Blackmore

I'm walking to the past on the shale beside the shore
with a sorrow that weighs heavy;
tricked me, caught me unawares
and clings now to my back.

I sit at the lagoon inviting it to rest
perhaps remain but it declines and we continue,
into water, me wading wishing it was
deep enough for drowning.

The old dog has forgotten, swims ahead, leaves chevron wake
towards the shore where tail flags expectation;
hugs, kisses in this place which tolerated wet dogs
curled up close beside the nightime fire.

The crows divide the silence, each one takes its share
as dog lunges through the scattered boards
and finds only the saw, abandoned and already wooed
by moss, which dulls the bite of rusted teeth
with stifling caress.

No laugh, no shout,
no echoes bending rusty nails in scavenged wood.
The boys have gone dog.
The fort no longer stands.

(c) 1997, Jenni Blackmore

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Great Bird of Sorrow
Jenni Blackmore

There's a great bird
hatched by demons
Sorrow is its name
been on my shoulder
long enough
time to go bird
can't remain

Listen!
Creak of ancient wings
archaeopteryx ascends
and see one feather
falling, falling
small reminder
heartbreaks mend

(c) 1997, Jenni Blackmore

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