April 8

Splotches of students were scattered about the vicinity during my drive home from work. For some reason this morning they reminded me of jax. You know, the game where jax are tossed and land randomly until a hand swoops and scoops them up. In this case, it's a bus. But being tired, and having nothing else to do but go with the flow...traffic flow, that is...I watched. As the bus approaches, each large scattering gravitates into a snug cluster like some invisible hand had suddenly scooped them altogether. As though some magnetic pull had drawn them against their will to the very UFO landing where they would soon be abducted. Some, mostly younger ones, still had that carefree, spritely step, taking their mischief and fun right along with them. But most trudged up the bus steps robotically, like apprehended refugees ascending the ride back to Nazi camps. I think of Pink Floyd..."We don't need no education! Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!...All in all you're justa...nother brick in the wall." Poor kids. Ha. (Unless they are so lucky as to have a teacher like Lyra, of course! That's an entirely different matter altogether.)

For many weeks now I've been seduced by crows. They've lured my attention from so many things...like driving! I just love them. They're so damn handsome. Mighty handsome birds! I was thinking that if a bird could depict the sort of man I am drawn to, crows would be it. They are so cool! Then I say to myself, the thing that attracts me to the crows are things that tick me off in most men...so do I deny that I like these qualities to a degree? Consider the crow. If crows would just keep their mouths shut and just stand there and "send out the vibes" as Jim Carey would say, they'd have females thronging to them, eh? Unfortunately see, the old saying "you can dress em up but can't take em out" clearly applies here. They are a wild rabble....obnoxious, loud, bold, aggressive...I can't imagine what they'd be saying if their imposing cacophony suddenly became intelligible. Lots of cussing, I'm sure of that. I think I'd like it and that it'd be rip-roaring humorous conversation. I love such down-to-earthness.

But did you ever see such a fine strut! They walk around like they own the damn place! Offensively so! They think they own it. Not just the minor few feet they're strutting around on but the whole city. No! The whole state...whole world is more like it. Unbelievably inflated egos. But they've got the fine, fine looks and charisma to get away with it! It can't be denied. Perhaps the arrogant strut is not in that they OWN the world, but a reminder to you that you do not! I find that a satisfying thought. But it's the personality that gets me. Wild, feisty spirits owning life! The zeal is contagious. I want it. I wanna fly off, see what it's like to be in the midst of an airborne flock of crows. Where would they take me...what would I see. What is it like to roost at night, wing to wing, zillions of crow-feet grasping every square inch of a bare-limbed tree to sleep in the moonlight? I believe that when crows are not scavenging the mess we've made of the world, they hang out in beauteous places we have no knowledge of.

Have you ever seen a crow or grackle dance? You ain't seen nothing if you ain't seen that! You just can't stop looking! If men would put half that effort into a conversation what a wonderful world it would be. If I were a female crow, I'd be such a slut.

If you watch a crow, and suddenly begin to dwell on its baser side, completely devoid of manners, perhaps plucking at a roadkill, until an aversion wells up inside, the next thing you know it will take off...and you will be mesmerized at the sight. The incredible grace of its flight will short circuit your thoughts....and your eyes will light on the contour of feathers. The tips. The contour of an outstretched wing of a crow might be the most beautiful black thing you ever see in this world. Notice how the feathers spread at the ends like the fingertips of a ballet dancer...how the thin, fine, pitch feathers curve and sweep into the air like no other bird. They beat not in the frenzy of chimney swallows, nor scallop out a path as do goldfinches, nor jerk wings back methodically in the boomerang shape of a killdeer's...nor hover in a nervous pulse like gulls sometimes do. Crows give the appearance of always being in control...you are reminded that numerous wing-beats per minute is not necessarily what sustains flight. Their movement is smooth and fluid like a lover creating the illusion that he has all the time in the world. It's not that they don't ever fly fast or hover...they do...there's just something different about it. A confident James Bond air...as if they had their own agendas to carry out...and like they most assuredly have alternative plans b, c, and d...in case A does not work out.

When they waken in the morning, they say to one another. "Today is a most excellent day to wear black!" And they are right. Because they are so incomparably black, there is incredible detail to their silhouette in flight to appreciate with the naked eye...you will strain to see... to shadow with your binoculars until they are far off on the horizon and you cannot wish them back.