The raven came by in the late afternoon
three caws for hello, I see you down there
fingering the damp wash on the line
weak sun on your back, wondering
if it’s strong enough for drying, halfheartedly
sweeping wet leaves, pulling
shocking green weeds out of the gutter
stroking the tabby, scenting the apple decay.

You, walking around and around
your garden, cutting tangled armfuls
of herbs to suspend in the sunny spot
over the kitchen table, pulling
rattling skeleton pods of beans out of the rain
softened earth, mounding horse manure
over the rhubarb, turning the compost
disturbing the worms.

You, standing in a tree-framed window
of sunshine, ear half listening to the whispering
of oak leaves laughing dryly at their shriveled jokes
breathing the must of leaf mold
seeking the spot by the back door, somewhere
behind the three waiting pumpkins
where the cricket has chosen to sing
and wondering why?

You, hefting clods of earth into a bucket, paying homage
to the wooly bear, curled in a patch of near-sun
the ladybug carcass—yellow and black
walnuts thudding on the roof and the ungodly
splashes of brilliance across the landscape

You, lullabying your garden to sleep.


16 thoughts on “WHAT THE RAVEN SAW

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Yup! I’m a lucky person to be able to live surrounded by so much natural wealth. Thanks for reading, Jim!

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Adele, the season has been so beautiful I find it hard to let it go. Thank you so much for reading my work. All the best, Melissa

  1. writesalone

    I live in a concrete city at odds with the seasons. I love the window you open into your life. It’s a beautiful view and so Garden of Eden for this weary soul of mine. Thank you Melissa.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Kind words indeed. Each day the natural world teaches me something new and charges my batteries. I feel lucky to be able to live in such close proximity to it. My fingers itch to paint it. But I haven’t got the skill. These little windows are my attempt to make pictures for others to share.

  2. Argus

    Aaaah … the occasional benefits of living at the far end of the planet … springtime here! Boom boom!
    Love that bug (does he ever know if he’s coming, going, or been?) 🙂

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      I’m not jealous–no, really, I’m not! That sweet fuzzy fella is supposedly a predictor of the severity of the winter ahead depending on the size of his orange or black stripe. Only no one I know can remember which means what, if you get my drift. Happy spring, to you!


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