it’s should be expected after election day
the weather as unsettled as i am
a frantic bite to the chilling air
in the frentic wind there is little chittering voices
squirrels and winter birds in revolt
a tiny brown bird hides among the bare branches in the ornamental plum
she could be a stub of a broken branch if you don’t focus, don’t discern
her exclamations are the sounds of twigs breaking, nuts fallen to the ground
shells breaking too soon on exposed bricks
there are apples still left on the huddled apple tree,
fruit left for wintering creatures unable to hibernate
perhaps i should have harvested them, hoarded and preserved them -
there will be need – but the world is dying
there will be starvation, and sickness, water polluted with oil -
and i want to be able to feed it still, even in some small way
so … this dun bird, neighboring squirrels, nocturnal raccoons
even the ants and the worms that will feast on their corpse cores
we custodians are failing – the air is punctuated
with strident crows’ screeching – a murder that is what it is
murdering white crows perched on telephone lines, power lines
“nevermore” they parrot victoriously “nevermore …”  as frozen rain drops down
ripples forming, multiplying in puddles
divots being left in graveled mud.

About this poem

Published in Moments Before Midnight: Oregon Poets Write for Ecological, Social, Political and Economic Justice. Bob Hill Publishing.2018

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Written on November 15, 2016

Submitted by Ariel on September 19, 2021

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:06 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 1,275
Words 223
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 23


Ariel is a full-time Pacific Northwest poet, often participating at Oregon Open Mics events. She has been published in Gold Man Review, AIM, The Widow’s Handbook, and most recently in Terra Incognita, On The Platform Waiting and Free From Monsters. Ariel often collaborates in many Willamette Valley poetry/art projects and is a member of Oregon Poetry Association, Mid-Valley Poets Association, Willamette Writers and Poet. Her website is more…

All Ariel poems | Ariel Books

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    "natural" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Apr. 2024. <>.

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