Crow Dreaming | Painting by Norbert Blei
Poetry Dispatch No. 336 | December 11, 2010
There is no end to the poetry, the satisfaction, the comfort of finding myself again in the poems of Ronald Baatz that hover about me, especially now-in-the-hour of my solitary darkness…late night, early morning hours… older …not much wiser…alone…aching to return to better health…snug in my chair…any new or old book of his always within reach…poems, a poet I can never say enough about, a poet I have read for—fifty years? What do you have to say to me tonight in my despair, old friend? Take me to the landscape, rural Americana, we both share—you in the east, me in the northern Midwest…the bountifulness, bareness of the seasons that become our nature…the bread crumbs…the frozen garden…the naked branches…the quiet house…the loss of parents…friends…the absence of love…the grimace of a smile buried in so seemingly simple a line…just how few, exact words it takes to make a prayer to light forever low, distant, desirous. Tell me tonight about your envy of brother crow…this brand new poem you sent today, fluttering about me, coming into vision…settling momentarily in my open hand…3 o’clock in another dark morning of the soul…comfort me in the shining darkness…the chance of snow… —Norbert Blei
ENVYING THE CROWS
A cold winter day spent
reading, collecting tinder.
But, my god, the loneliness
of the hours was overwhelming.
With age it becomes more and
more apparent that I need to be
among people. I have to stop living
like a monk. Although, it is true,
monks do live with other monks.
They pray, take their meals together,
and perhaps life at the monastery
is not such a burden. I would never
have to eat alone in such a place.
Earlier, I stood eating a can of sardines
and a piece of unbuttered bread.
I envied the crows. From the
kitchen window I had seen them pecking
at the leftover rice I had thrown out.
The crows, that had arrived in a group
and that had left in a group.
Same as the sardines.