Ravens

I was on my favorite website, Celebrate Urban Birds, when I came upon a section of the site which gave the calls of various birds. Never  before do I believe I have heard a raven, not even knowing if they have residence in my area. But on a walk to the local grade school three days ago, I thought I heard one, remembering its distinct call from Celebrate Urban Birds. I looked in the tall and naked black branched trees, but did not spot any bird at all, but I suppose in the dense cover of these particularly heavily twisted branches of this arboreal oddity, it would not be expected to see anything at all, especially a bird so black. The call I heard, and remembered from the site, was like a common crow mixed with the harshness of a blue jay.

But let’s face it now, this post is not about ornithology, but the family named Raven. First my apologies to the wonderful people here and in Britain who share this grand surname, for this is just about one of them, my estranged husband, but oh poo, even writing those words sticks in my craw like I spoke them. His last name was not Raven, the his Mother had come from England and that was her family name, and she was a beauty, as was her mother, I must admit. My Raven was very handsome and had gleaming black hair, or maybe it was feathers,  and seemed normal, but as the years passed, this Raven sat on the bust of Pallas above my chamber door too long. If I ever asked if I could have some money, or if we could ever get a better house, or a bucket of paint, his answer was, “Nevermore”. He had this odd talents where he could gain access to the roof by shinnying up a downspout and run back and forth on the ridge like some kind of demon from the nether regions. He must have really been a raven, as he scowled everyday looking out then window, I envisioned him not sitting but perched. He hunkered in a chair because it must have been the closest he could get without actually displaying  his avian heritage , thereby exposing his true nature. I would not be surprised to see him hanging out with the Tower of London ravens, their collective memories at work awaiting a tasty morsel, like a still moist eye from a severed heard or going for the innards of some poor soul who was drawn and quartered flapping toward the intestines still in the act of their final quiverings hoping a few good pecks would expose some still undigested partridge or blood pudding. Oh the feasts the ravens of yore must have had on the impaled heads on the tower bridge, so yes, my estranged could definitely be one or them. Somewhere deep in his cerebellum he remembered and felt how his forbears lived and could not endure this human form with which, unfortunately, he was cursed. Oh heck no, it was me who was cursed until he fled the bust of Pallas when this raven became without worth and would start demanding tribute from me. No tribute for you, you eye-picker, so disembowel some other victim, there is nothing left here. So off he flew into the night, but the word “Nevermore” is still heard in my head everyday, and it has diminished me to nothing more that a gibbeted treat for the tower ravens.

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5 Responses to “Ravens”

  1. northerncat Says:

    I’m fascinated byn ravens. Very beautiful birds and I’ve always thought of them as kind, which maybe isn’t appropriate. But I’ve only seen them live in one place and that was of course at the Tower of London.

  2. troll Says:

    If you are merely a gibited treat, so then was Poe himself along with Shakespeare, Hemingway and shall we say, the whole “flock” of wordsmiths. As for your raven we can only hope he ended up in a hillbilly stew somewhere and his bones are picked clean by now and licked dry by cats.

  3. Rod Simmons Says:

    Ha,ha, Troll, you crack me up!

  4. Starrlady Says:

    Ravens are hidden in their beautiful jet black coats a grand site to see but they are truly scavengers. The Raven name of England lady held a certian amount of royalty about it like a stately mannerism and hald proud heads high. Ravens demand royal feasts and drstroy other lives by robbing the nests of other bird of their their tiny eggs We need scavengers though to clean the roadkill remains to help elimate disease. So even a evil visual beauty has it’s good qualities. Your poetic blog has a keen sence of the beauty & the evil, wonderfully said.

  5. Rabbitude Says:

    I never thought much about them until we bought our first (mini)ranch in Northern LA County. They had a disturbing habit of flying overhead, crying, “HI! HI!” I swear to you. It’s not hard to see that people can teach them to talk.

    And they don’t just prey on other birds (or ex-spouses). Here’s a link I found that pertains very directly to my part of the eco-system — the desert tortoise:

    http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/article.cfm?issueID=23&articleID=201

    Needless to say, whether they are really birds, or some rejected lover-turned-bone-picker, they are not my favorite birds.

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