By Dale Bowman
A pair or crows cawed as Lady, our family's mutt, and I set off this morning. It made something of a stark contrast to the whitening left by a dusting of snow overnight.
It was the kind of starkness that took me to Ted Hughes and his collection, ``Crow.''
My favorite in it is ``Crow Blacker than ever,'' here from the World Poetry Database.
Crow Blacker than ever
When God, disgusted with man,
Turned towards heaven.
And man, disgusted with God,
Turned towards Eve,
Things looked like falling apart.
But Crow . . Crow
Crow nailed them together,
Nailing Heaven and earth together -
So man cried, but with God's voice.
And God bled, but with man's blood.
Then heaven and earth creaked at the joint
Which became gangrenous and stank -
A horror beyond redemption.
The agony did not diminish.
Man could not be man nor God God.
Crying: 'This is my Creation,'
Flying the black flag of himself.
You really need to read that outloud to fully savor the genuis of Hughes.
I just love that: ``And man, disgusted with God,/turned toward Eve.'' A lot of man's relation toward the supernatural and God is tied up in that.
Hughes is one of my go-to guys, along with Robert Graves, Charles Demuth and William Carlos Williams.
That kind of morning. The bleakness of February is hitting me and I really needed a long ramble, but it was so bitter this morning, that we only stretched out an abbreviated one.
I had hoped to at least make the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond, but just after downtown, I cut down an alley and circled back.
That north wind just bit through me.
The good thing about the cold was that it froze the snow enough to ramble easily.
Naturally, that took me to ``Easier Walking,'' by ReFro Sensno. What can I say? I ramble off to places like that.
The sunrise by the train elevators (top photo) on the edge of town caught my eye (Hello Charles Demuth) the same way the crows cawing caught my ears when we set out.
Back downtown, the bank thermometer read 14. It was colder than that. To the east, across the Illinois/Indiana line, I could see the lake-effect snow clouds, even this far south.
Back home, only a few birds fluttered around the feeders. My thermometer behind our garage read 9.
Winter sticks around, almost as eternal as Crow.