Today's poem is by Charles Goodrich

Not an Omen

We're watching a lurid sunset
turn blood-red, bruise-blue,
the roiling cumulonimbus
tinted with oxides of nitrogen and sulfur
courtesy of a forest fire over by Sisters.

Knowing the compromised origin
of this breathtaking spectacle
muddles our pleasure with vague unease,
though you insist beauty is often messed up
with smoke, fire, and fumes.

So we probably shouldn't read too much
into the scrub jay's startled exclamation,
or take the abrupt departure of several dozen robins
as an omen of anything but nature's
inscrutable coming and going.

But now the wind picks up
and a fierce gust rips a branch
from the big-leaf maple,
Lights snuff out on the horizon.
Clouds pour in from the coast.

Out of the west comes an awful cawing,
then a scripture of crows scribbles the sky
hurtled along on a pelt of rain,
their cries falling like scraps of burnt text
on our tenuous peace of mind.

Copyright © 2013 Charles Goodrich All rights reserved
from A Scripture of Crows
Silverfish Review Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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