I had so much fun painting the first “Crow and blooms” that I decided to do another! An incredible burst of rhododendrons is gracing the neighbourhood so they form the backdrop for this crow.
Tom wrote a curious and thought-provoking poem for this crow!
I think perhaps you have assumed
too much about the world at large
so look upon the blousing blooms
and tell yourself, “I am in charge
of everything I can control
and nothing else: the dice may roll
and come up seven, eight, or two
and with that truth I’ve naught to do.”
But when the dice are finally done
then how I ride the winds of chance
or bide my time upon this branch
will be my choice, for lost or won.
For though the wind blows where it might
I will yet rule my turn of flight.
An image of the contrast between the recent masses of cherry blossoms and the local crows had popped into my head a couple of weeks ago …so finally I heeded the call and painted this!
I love Tom’s poem that celebrates in words the contrast I expressed in paint!
I guard the colours of the night
amidst the panoply of day
keeping blackness shining bright:
ensuring shades don’t fade or stray.
The brightness of the flowers glows
like jewels within some treasure trove
to complement my perfect cloak
of irridescence, fine, bespoke
from that great Tailor who has made
the blossoms of the summer trees
and also too such beasts as me
whose beauty lies in deeper shades.
I am on wings of wonder borne
dark meteor ‘cross summer’s morn.
As I mentioned there are lots of crows here in Vancouver – and I like them! This one posed for a few photos so I got some good material for sketching. As usual, Tom was able to use my drawing as a springing off point for a clever poem in a hilariously believable crow’s voice.
“Ladies, gentlemen, and all
I do most humbly agree
with your sentiments: my call
is patriotic, strong and free.
Children all across this land
should every day be made to stand
and caw like crows, not sing some bland
anthem, for my voice is grand!
So I bow, performance done
here upon this lowly post
just happy I have made the most
of fading days in autumn sun.
What’s that you say? You disagree!
Then I am off to yonder tree!”
I was crow watching at a local urban park recently. Not sure if the first bird knew it was being followed as they both strolled along the lake edge but something made me think the second crow had some mischief in mind.
Tom’s poem playfully reflects the moment.
Stepping out upon the strand
dawdling in a peacock line
two crows are taking to the land
one ahead and one behind
by the water’s chilly edge
beneath the marsh’s sagging sedge
they walk along the sandy ledge
toward the park’s enclosing hedge
until unruly denizens
disturb their prancing show
up into the air it sends
their bodies as they go
around our heads and to a branch
where again they’ll preen and prance!
A quick crow doodle. There is something engaging about these highly intelligent birds. Here on the West coast, they have carved out a habitat they share with traditional shore birds such as gulls.
Luckily, Tom likes crows too! I love how he catches what seems just right for the voice of a crow.
I stand amidst the pebbles fine
upon the margin of the brine
reveling in my command
of all who wander on the sand.
Passersby they hesitate
and pause as they perambulate
through their existential state:
I make them think and make them wait!
Then off I dance in slanting breeze
to settle in another place
across the shingle, by the trees
where I strut and prance and pace
for I’m above the common folk
who sleep while I am truly woke.
For some reason, I was thinking during the week that the next bird in the series needed to be a crow. When I started to look for interesting photos for inspiration, I was reminded of the rhyme “one crow sorrow, two crows joy…” and so of course decided to do two crows – more of a challenge too! I actually did a computer doodle on that theme some time ago (2011!). In any case, I found this fabulous photo (scroll down – it’s the eighth photo in their post) and got to work.
This time, I left the drawing strictly black and white with just a bit of pencil shading – which seemed right for the subject. I had originally thought that it would be 3 1/2″x 5″ like the last doodles I posted but the crows took over the page and spilled onto the margin. Once again, inspired by “Zentangle”… I am pretty pleased with the effect.
UPDATE: New poem from Tom just right for the image as usual – thanks Tom!
We’ve gotta stick together, Bud,
upon this cable’s span
clinging ‘gainst the gusty winds
that blow from Autumn’s fan.
I’ll lean on you, you lean on me
we’ll be OK together
no matter what tomorrow brings,
nor even what the weather.
You’re lookin’ slightly hollow there
your wickerwork’s askew
but stick with me and sure as eggs [*]
you know I’ll stick with you.
Then in the Spring we’ll fly away
and build us nests of gold:
fresh straw and twigs, the very best,
for Fortune’s with the bold
and who is bolder than we two
who cling to this thin wire
up in the sky while groundling folk
stand firmly in the mire?
It isn’t always pleasant here
but ain’t the view just fine?
And when you’re famous-rich I’ll say
you was a friend of mine!
Today’s doodle was inspired by the crows I saw while out walking on the “mountain” recently. Today I was watching them call to each other, puffing up with each breath and putting their whole body into each caw. It was actually bright and sunny while I was walking but I thought a grey sky worked better for the doodle!
UPDATE: This poem just in from Tom in the comments – thanks Tom!!
The raucous rhythm of the crows
Adumbrates the sky
Rattles ’round the Mountain, blows
Across the City, nigh
Unto the river wide and deep
That flows into the sea
Between the banks where creatures creep
Through forests by the lea.
Each door-hinge “SCRAW!” with rusty strength
The cloudy sky, across the length
Of woodland and of heath
Until the Autumn leaves are all
Shook loose and fluttered down
Leaving just the crow’s harsh call
Between the sky and ground!
I was walking on the mountain yesterday and noticed a crow perched on an improbably high branch which inspired this doodle. It was a lovely day – soft (for February) with a pale winter sun occasionally breaking through the clouds.
This morning we participated in a tea tasting – just of Taiwan wulongs! ten different ones… It was quite eye-opening. Although I already had a good idea that there is a huge range of flavours within this family of teas, it really was remarkable. The aged Wulongs had an especially strong range of flavours. While I often enjoy strong flavours, I found myself gravitating towards the greener, fresher-flavoured varieties. I won’t get into the details of which one seemed to me like over-ripe olives, which like burnt chocolate and which like flowers on a sunny day… There are real experts out there discussing tea and if you are interested in the world of Chinese tea, check out the links to the right. If particularly in Wulongs, here’s an interesting article on Taiwan Dong Ding Wulong. (Note: due to transliteration differences, Dong Ding = Tung Ting and Oolong = Wulong)