The Prophecy of the Raven

 

I.

I see the silence of my grave,

The wind, the hill, the mists of dawn,

The open beak and broken back,

The feathers thick with blood and moor.

 

I see the sunrise on my bones,

And light the tips of flightless wings

Which flutter in the gentle breeze,

As up above a skylark sings.

 

I see the fungus raid my flesh,

And watch myself dissolve in earth.

The seeping soil that once was me,

Will host my cold and strange rebirth.

 

My call rings out with joy and life:

I’ve seen beyond this pointless strife.

 

 

II.

I see an ocean in my eyes,

My feathers brushed with scales of fish,

My learning heart is formed of sparks,

I sense the tremors of the sun.

 

I see these pasts unfurl their tales,

Though barely one has yet begun.

I know the path that each will take,

Entropic embryos of fate.

 

I see my breath will join the breeze:

A moment’s warmth then lost in clouds.

Those clouds were once my pulsing blood,

They soon will fall as ocean rain.

 

I see my place and know my time:

I call from lungs, from heart, from mind.

 

 

III.

I see the world come round again,

The days of sleek and gleaming hue,

The night of warmth and sheltered wing,

The feathered signs, connected lines.

 

I see the places we once flocked:

The silent mountains ground to dust,

The ancient forests thick with moss,

They melt away in lakes of loss.

 

I see the passing of my kind,

But sight continues on through time,

Beyond the vanished arch of earth,

Beyond the burning universe,

 

I see what will be, not what might:

I shake my feathers loose for flight.

 

 

IV.

I see beyond the light of now,

Through cold eternities of space.

Out there where all the cycles end,

I see the elements descend.

 

I see that emptiness in life,

The ice within the spark and flame,

The pleasures burning in the pain:

I see the sun within the rain.

 

I see the dissipating whole,

Each smile’s inception births a death.

The reason why the pasts collide:

They are the future, form its pull.

 

My wings will take me to the stars:

But ever distant they fly on.

 

 

V.

I see the beauty in your kind,

And how the few will fear your rise.

They try to crush your nascent form,

Deride, despise and spread their bile.

 

I see the distant turn their backs,

And others shout to hide your cries.

They buy and hoard their island shames,

They warm their claws in stolen lands.

 

I see a constellation formed

From stars beyond your senses reach,

And in that gathered throng of stars

Another knowledge will be lit.

 

I call toward that beacon’s pulse:

I see your hope begin to rise.

 

 

VI.

I see tomorrow, cold and dark,

But in the ashes seeds will crack,

And something good will bloom again:

Something simple, pure and free.

 

I see a place where every word

Is set for all to hear and hold,

Where those who live and those below,

Are given space in which to grow.

 

I see the ones who suffered most

Respected, cherished held aloft,

And power flowed from one to all,

Together sung, together born.

 

I tumble through the misted skies:

And call to all the things I’ve seen.

 

VII.

I see your plans and see your pride,

The shields you raise to passing time,

Disputed tales you hold as truth,

When miracles are not enough.

 

I see the mountains ground by ice,

Until they fill the river plains.

The deepest oceans touch the clouds,

Within their depths volcanoes rage.

 

I see your cities spread and rise,

Their fortunes fed by starving mouths.

Your churches made to scar the skies,

Their limits set within your minds.

 

I fly above your world of gold:

There is no future here foretold.

 

VIII.

I see the rocks which were a sea,

The bones of fish on mountain tops,

The fertile lands and desert sands,

They are the journey we will make.

 

I see the cooling universe,

The metal heart of aging stars,

The moment when it all unites,

The moment when the silence falls.

 

I see beyond the end of time,

Beyond the consciousness and pain.

I see the track our spark will take,

When all is nought and sight will end.

 

I raise my beak and shake my wings:

I call the wondrous state of things.

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14 Comments to “The Prophecy of the Raven”

  1. Enormously quotable. This is grand and epic and depressing…but only kind of depressing. The vision, the prophecy, seems assuredly derived from the Universe, so that authority overrides a portion of the bleakness (for reasons I can barely explain…something about “oh it has to be that way, and that’s better than things awry”).

  2. I love this. And watching ravens on Rombald’s moor this morning, it it perfect to come to this evening.

  3. oh dang…epic poem….really like the opening section and the going down into the earth…there is something strongly metaphysical in the whole thing…I see the sunrise on my bones,…great line…but then i could quote back many…the raven itself is so evocative..

  4. You have really outdone yourself with this poem! Each stanza is beautiful! And the whole….as others have said…is epic.

  5. And I saw the cycle of birth and death and the wheel of becoming. And the universe hums along…ebbing and flowing. I so enjoyed this and the deep awareness of the raven.

  6. Now that’s what I call a bird’s eye view…!

  7. Deep thought behind the verses..life’s philosophy is poured perfectly..great..

  8. My call rings out with joy and life:

    yes. life and its diffuse glory. it is a wonder.

  9. “The seeping soil that once was me,

    Will host my cold and strange rebirth.” beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

  10. Lovely, meditative reflections

  11. Ah, such lovely flowing meter – refreshing in the growing sea of free-verse. I like what you did with the unpatterned rhyming, too; it draws an interesting emphasis where it occurs.

  12. As though you snatched this from the aether’s flow whistling past the raven’s back. ~ M

  13. I agree with Jack the first comment here, ’eminently quotable’
    You marry big questions with a simplicity of language that beguiles. Lovely, and lyrical with meaning that is comprehensible. I like that marriage very much.

  14. Certainly epic, and Odin’s Ravens come to mind…

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