Last three days to submit your verse to "Poem for the American Crow" at http://www.iowabirdofmouth.com/submit ! December 1, we move onto the Eastern screech owl.
The "Crow" poem is tremendous: shifting and twirling and yelling like a flock of crows itself. Here's a knock-out excerpt, signed by Steve Rose.
Three crows flew herd on a broad-tailed hawk
east of Albert Lea, black beaks talking trash
then driven into the hawk’s grey back.
One flies point while the other two harass from
the wings. You’ve seen this in Korea, three MIG’s
shooting down our bomber; or coyotes on a sick cow.
Two hours later across the Iowa border,
a new pecking order: two redwinged blackbirds,
clever as card players, harassing a passing crow.
The crow’s wings, lumbering like sails on a dingy,
drag against the current, while the blackbird
sharks slice the breeze into splinters.
The crow tries a barrel roll to the blackbirds’ delight.
Tufts of coal feathers flutter from his belly. A lone
cedar offers comfort and into its arms the crow falls.
Black feathers, onyx beak and talons sheathed in royal green.
This crow: terrorist, target, stowaway, scavenger,
and for a moment, on that rough branch, King.