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previously published in Ambit, 179, 2004

in collection The Glittering Sea, Hearing Eye Press, 2006,


Crow Crow


Crow crow

in my mother’s garden.

She feeds you all her stale bread.


Crow crow

plunging down from the neighbour’s chimney,

leaving nothing for blackbird and robin.


Crow crow,

the thrushes will have a grand party

when you are on the wing.


Perched on your lookout post

or dipping crusts in the little pond.

Crafty old thing.


Portentous stare and weighty walk,

not all dark suits are criminals

but you wear black and look louche,


with grey tail feathers

as if that black were singed to ash.


You could be the taxman just dropping by

to advise me on outstanding payments.


Loan shark, undertaker, stand-up comic

masquerading as a bird.


Crow crow,

my mother fed you all she had,

her skinny arms

tossing leftovers of Waitrose’s cardboard dinners.


Best readymade food in town

And nothing less will do

as you waddle across the lawn

the gardener shaved for you.


Crow crow,

one day she fed you a whole packet of puff-pastry,

muttering under her breath,

“one bird less won’t do any harm”.


Crow crow,

did it swell and swell inside you?


One day you’ll just fall out of the sky.

No wings then will help you fly.


And blackbird, robin and thrush will fly back in

and warble and crow and sing.


Donald Gardner


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poetry favourites:
Poetry Int'l Web;
Ambit Mag (video clip of Donald reading);
Donald on YouTube
Dee Rimbaud

and in the shop ...
collections -
"The Wolf Inside",
"The Glittering Sea",
Hearing Eye
"How to Get the Most out of your Jet Lag",
Ye Olde Font Shoppe;

translations -
"In those Days",
"I Dreamed of the City at Night" (Remco Campert),

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