This little gathering is a tribute to a bird at the bottom of the popularity list – a bird we can’t do without. Sheryl Gwyther May 6 2009
Glossy black, green & purple sheen,
piercing pale eyes see all.
Pariah of city, suburb and street.
Scavenger of schoolyard waste,
your only threat walks upright
as shang-hai, rock & bullet you taste.
Intelligent, clever & bold, old crow,
you alone know how to eat toad
(c) Sheryl Gwyther
Humans have an almost universal opinion about crows – noisy, ugly, dirty, creepy, pests – the list goes on in many languages. But there are many who recognise the status of a crow … whether from the grandeur of a winged mystical being or the depths of an efficient garbage disposal unit.
As the crow flies. European origin
I have a crow to pick with you. Old English
Jim Crow. American
To eat crow. 1812-1814 Anglo-American war
Crow-eaters. South Australians
Crow’s nest. Sailing term
A gathering of crows is called a MURDER
Q. Who brings Christmas presents to all good little crow boys and girls? Santa Caws
Q. Where do crows congregate to have a cold one? The Crow Bar
Q. What do crows like to drink in the morning? Caw-fee
Q. What sort of crow sticks to a wall when it hits it? Vel-crow
Crows and ravens appear in mythology, from Ancient Greece and Rome to the Native American, African, Hindu and Aboriginal Dreamtime legends.
In the cave paintings of Lascaux, birds are drawn that looks very much like crows.
An Inuit myth tells of how the Raven invented light by throwing chips of mica in the air.
Shakespeare mentions them in half of his plays.
Crows are mentioned in the Koran.
Little crow Corvus bennetti
Torresian crow Corvus orru
Colombo crow Corvus splendens
Australian raven Corvus coronoides
Forest raven Corvus tasmanicus
Little raven Corvus mellori
I write junior fiction rather than poetry although, like all poets, I love words. When I wrote the Crow poem I thought of what crows look like, what they do and how people feel about them. Also I knew about one very special trick crows have been intelligent enough to learn up here in Queensland.
Then, because there is so much to know about crows I collected more information and made an artist book to put it all in. It’s called Crow.
You can visit me online at http://sherylgwyther.wordpress.com/ or
Thanks for visiting, Sheryl.