March Slice of Life No. 12.
Relaxing in lawn chairs, we soak up the warm March sun. EM is bouncing around, shooting hoops, rolling on her belly on the basketball, sitting on the porch steps.
Caw…caw! Caw…caw! The raucous call of a crow comes from the walnut tree.
Awk…awk! Awk…awk! With her hand cupped around her mouth, leaning over the porch rail to look into the tree better, EM replies to the crow in a loud raspy voice.
Back and forth they call to each other — the shiny black bird in the walnut tree and the blonde five-year-old girl on the porch.
Tiring of her crow conversation, EM hops off the porch and joins us.
Me: EM, what was the crow telling to you?
EM, shrugging her shoulders: I don’t know.
Me: You don’t know what the crow was saying?
EM, frowning: I don’t know crow.
Me: But you were talking to the crow.
EM, emphatically: I was making sounds, Gramma. I don’t talk crow.
Later, after the sun set, I put my opinion of crows into a poem. I chose to follow the American Cinquain form developed by Adelaide Crapsey: title, followed by 5 lines with 2, 4, 6, 8 and 2 syllables.
Angry black sleek scolders
Crop-stealers, dive bombing murder
© 2018, Alice Nine
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I’ll gladly be reading your blog now. More of EM to come, perhaps? Thought of Stevens, too, and David Harrison’s poem Crows. Love the “sensations.” Thanks.
Thank you! Yes, EM has a way of popping up in my slices. Oh, “The Crows” is a good one with its farming connections.
I love the image of EM “talking” with the crow, and then being sort of scornful at the idea that she was actually talking with it. She sounds like she must be such a fun kid.
I’m so glad you came by today, Natasha. EM is a fun kid, and she has always been able to articulate her thoughts well.
The structure was so interesting and unfamiliar to me. I found myself rereading it again and again. I loved how it was a mix of story and poetry. I love how you describe the girl and the crow – similar yet different. I could picture the scene from beginning to end.
I’m so glad you stopped by, Clare. Thank you for sharing with me!
Love how you developed a poem from what happened. I like your granddaughter’s matter-of-fact responses to your questions. Great idea for a story..The Girl Who Could Talk to Crows.
Hadn’t thought about a story, but I think you are right.
Love the phrasing of mini-chapters to give it a very unique flow. Crows are indeed fascinating animals and I wonder what they would say if we could understand them. I would ask them why the fascination with all the shiny stuff. Thanks for sharing.
So glad you stopped by, Alex. I think crows can be scary sometimes. I’ve seen them act like they know who you are… and I’ve seen them be aggressive.
Is there a little Wallace Stevens Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird in here? Or maybe I’m just seeing Wallace Stevens everywhere these days. Either way, I love how your granddaughter’s voice infuses the poem from her early awks to “I was making sounds, Gramma. I don’t talk crow.” That last line made me laugh; I could almost hear her.
Not intentionally. I had to look up “Thirteen Ways… ” to refresh my memory. And found this line that Stevens wrote about it in a letter: “This group of poems is not meant to be a collection of epigrams or of ideas, but of sensations.” I just had to share that — “sensations.” This approach of Stevens to a subject might be one to keep in mind for a slice, if not during March maybe on a Tuesday SOL later in the year. About that last line: When EM went off to do something, her mom and I did have a laugh over it.
The scene you painted took me there and made me want to stay. The verbs in I. showed me the lawn chairs as the sun, the anchor, and the little girl encircling. The contrast of the sleek blond girl and blank crow, “angry black sleek scolders.” Great slice!
That contrast of blonde girl and black crow just flowed out of the pencil. Thanks for noticing. 🙂
There are a few sound lines rolling around my notebook for a brave day. Thanks for your daily inspiration. I could see EM, the day, and the crow.
You are so welcome. 🙂
Crows are .. fascinating. Scary at times but so intelligent, they’ll startle you.
That’s right. Like I told Barbara, we had some one year that had their lookouts perch at key locations while others came in to get the dog’s food.
Unique topic lends itself to a fun slice! Saw lots of crows today in our area near the water. Must have been a crow day.They, too, were very vocal…but I don’t speak crow so I can’t tell you what they were saying.
Ha! Ha! I’ve read a bit about crows and it is almost scary if it is true. Researchers say they remember a person and they tell other crows about the person. I’m inclined to believe it from experience. We had some one year that had their lookouts perch at key locations while others came in to get the dog’s food.