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The Ravens (1999)

The Ravens Cover

One can never see a raven
Without hearing a poem

Like the poem
The raven can fly upside-down
And gives no reply to questions

In the raven’s eye:
A spot which
Disappears in the distance

A mirror in the eyes
Of a thousand ravens

The raven, even with other ravens
Is always by itself

The raven is the friend
In the room of the dead

The raven has
Tucked beneath its wings
The whole world

At dawn the raven is
A red door

Night is the dream
Of the first raven

In every raven’s beak
Waits the high note
Maria Callas sings in Tosca

Beethoven’s 5th Symphony is the
Black and beating iridescent breast
Of a raven

Once they crucified a raven
Michelangelo delivered it
From marble
Gently placed it
Against that breast
The Pieta

Van Gogh’s last brush stroke
Was a raven’s wing

Isadora on her talons
Sprang into flight

Poe was, is
His Raven

Every raven
On its night perch
Is a Zen master

A raven spins, sleeping
In the womb of the world

The blinding light in the tomb
Is the raven

Listen
The cry of ravens
Tilting the wind
Turning the world
Throats full
Of the first word
Every word
All poems
Not yet written

Listen
The distant cry
Grows louder

In the luster
Of sleep
The world becomes
Untangled
Echoing
The cry of ravens

--Philomene Long

(C) Copyright Philomene Long Estate 2008-2010, All Rights Reserved. Photographs by Pegarty Long.

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