by Len Krisak (January 2015)
With clonic strut they come,
Six starlings bent on feeding,
Stabbing the raddled lawn that’s just endured
Its fall re-seeding.
They annex, peck by peck,
One hardy patch of fescue,
Purple then green in sun that cannot come to
The grass’s rescue.
Not half so proud or sharp,
A raven also bent
On grub is stalking, sleeker than a Blackhawk’s
He is his appetite,
And driven by ravening need,
Picks at his food, an actor mimicking
A sheen so black it’s blue
Glazes the Corvus corax
A coat of jet, with a skin-tight jabot
Choking the thorax
Juddering its gobbets down
At nothing like full-throttle,
With muffled sounds a wino makes jug-jugging
The day’s first bottle.
The glistening, hungry eye
Set in its cowled head
Swivels like a gun-mount to shoot the starlings
It wishes dead
One glance to prove it covets
Even their tenuous seed,
And would devour, if it could, the ground
On which they feed.
Len Krisak has published in The London Magazine, The Oxonian Review, PN Review, Standpoint, Agni, The Antioch Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, Agenda, The Hopkins Review, Commonweal, Literary Imagination, The Oxford Book of Poems on Classical Mythology, and others. His latest book is Virgil’s Eclogues, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010. Forthcoming: The Carmina of Catullus, Carcanet Press, 2015, Afterimage, Measure Press, 2014, Rilke: New Poems, Boydell & Brewer, 2015 and Ovid: The Amores and The Ars Amatoria, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
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