Twelve Days

My friend Nathalie – https://arwenaragornstar.com/ – challenged me to write something on a theme of birdy vengeance… this is where my mind took it. This is for anyone who wants a non-Christmas post! Warning – not for the faint of heart…

The day the first one showed,
And settled on the sign,
Never thought it was an omen:
I paid it nevermind.

The next day came another.
I thought it rather sweet
That the single lonely raven
Had a friend to share its seat.

On the third day came a third
And on and on it went.
Each day saw another…
And I wonderedΒ what it meant.

By the end of day twelve,
Twelve birds sat on the sign.
Brooding there in silence
Waiting there in line.

Each bird would watch me closely
Fix me within its stare.
Not a one did cast a shadow.
My mind screamed out, beware.

They moved as if one creature,
Heads tilt in time as one.
Pecking down in unison
While noise still came there none.

On day thirteen, one left:
It disappeared at night.
I know not when it left
It was gone before daylight.

The remaining flock continued
Their sullen, silent vigil,
As my mind was whirring overtime
To solve this deathly riddle.

What did all this mean?
Did they portent or predict?
Was this mere coincidence,
In a sunny spot they’d picked?

Each day another left
Though I never saw one leave.
The rest continued with their study,
Their study of poor me.

I shut my curtains tight,
Rarely peeking through.
Yet every time they saw me
Each one nodded in my view.

I spurned all food, couldn’t sleep
My mind was always racing
About what these ravens stood for;
What future horrors facing.

Yet on with each day passing
Their numbers shrank still smaller.
I felt some hope returning.
I stood a little taller.

On the day there sat just one,
I sensed I’d passed a test.
I prepared myself a feast,
Enjoyed my first night’s rest.

I slept so long that night,
It was mid-morn when I woke.
I ope’d the curtains wide:
My raven spell had broke!

I ran out of my door,
Danced up and down the street,
So happy then was I…
Till I glanced down at my feet.

For despite the morning sun,
I cast no shadow down.
Where it clearly should have been,
No shadow touched the ground.

I looked up to the sky
And saw them swooping fast
My twelve ravens of judgement
Had weighed and tried my past.

They attacked and pecked as one,
Flaying at my flesh,
Feeding on my eyeballs,
Swallowed while they’re fresh.

They squawked their final verdict
Leaving not a trace
Of flesh or bone in situ:
Only blood now marked the space.

So should you venture from your door
And spy a raven scene,
Count the number carefully,
For now we are thirteen.

 

 

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Picture credit:Β flickr.com/photos/srdjanjovanovic/11980047516

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60 thoughts on “Twelve Days

  1. So loved it that in my excitement I sent my comment before it was typed up lol
    Brilliant, I was expecting gruesome in an obvious jokey way and you’ve gone all literary with this instead I’m not complaining ❀
    Just my kind of dark – as Meg said, Hitchcock and Poe rolled into one. Fantastic! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. THIS is something I need to have printed on a poster board, framed and presented to my sister! SHE is da queen of darkness. Even her skull collection, which fills the living room, gets Santa hats this time of year, rather than be packed away lest they frighten the reindeer. Fine job, my poetic pal!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This poem blows me away, Al! You are so very talented and original. If there are any inhibitions and obstructions left on your creative path, I hope they all fall away in 2017. That is my wish for you, to benefit your talents and our reading pleasure. X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Al, this really is fantasmagorically, humungously, superb. When such poetry takes on its own momentum, as this obviously did, it really zings along. Well done, my friend. I hope you and yours had a peaceful Christmas, and that you have a happy, and healthy New Year ahead with lots more great poetry such as this.

    Liked by 1 person

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