dark news
the comfort
of crows


48 Responses

  1. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    Oh, wow – as another crow lover, I really like this one, Alan!

    marion

  2. Alan Summers Says:

    Thanks Marion! :-)

    I'm delighted you connected with this haiku as it's so different in tone from most haiku that involve crows.

    warm regards,

    Alan

  3. alexisrotella Says:

    When I was in Japan, I started to feel right at home when I heard the crows

  4. Alan Summers Says:

    Hi Alexis,

    Yes, crows are big in Japan! I didn't see many other types of birds on the quick coach drive with NHK, but I always saw crows. :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

  5. janetld Says:

    V. relatable, Alan. Just last week I had a similar thought: how oddly comforting they are, and we have many huge crows around here.

  6. Alan Summers Says:

    I'm delighted you had a similar experience and could immediately relate.

    Comfort can come from the most unexpected of places.

    warm regards,

    Alan

  7. Mary Weiler Says:

    Comfort of a warning or a blessing? Love this Alan, the alliteration, the sparse syllables, the magic.

  8. Alan Summers Says:

    Hi Mary,

    I love crows and it's wonderful they are in so many different countries. :-)

    It was at the time of a great life-threatening invisible illness, and I was on an art course feeling very vulnerable. I went for a long walk during the lunch break and this crow just stayed with me in a very dark time, giving me company, solace, and hope.

    They've always been a wonderful bird to me, so companionable and yet this one particular crow, not the few others near by, that went the extra mile and empathised with me.

    I've had this privilege just a few times in my life with animals. This is my way of thanking that crow, and all the other animals during my life that connected with me. I become very humbled, and that's healthy.

    warmest regards,

    Alan

  9. Sheila Sondik Says:

    I find myself turning this one over and over, seeing different ways of interpreting it. Yet is is so concise and direct, too. Love it.

  10. Alan Summers Says:

    Thanks Sheila! :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

  11. andreacecon Says:

    A stark and interesting work, Alan…

  12. Alan Summers Says:

    Thanks Andrea!

    Most of my haiku come from direct experience, and I'm glad this is working for readers.

    I wasn't sure because there appears to be a strong notion around crows (centuries and centuries old) that they are bad creatures and omens of ill things to come. They are far more than that, with their witty and intelligent behaviour. :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

  13. Peggy Bilbro Says:

    Very nice Alan! Comforting, in a chilling kind of way.

  14. Alan Summers Says:

    Thanks Peggy :-)

    It's a blessing we have crows, part of a large caretaker group of animals clearing up after humans in particular. :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

  15. kalaramesh Says:

    Good one, Alan

  16. Alan Summers Says:

    Glad to hear that. :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

  17. madhurip Says:

    Ubiquitous crows restoring normality is comforting. Beautiful in its simplicity.

  18. Alan Summers Says:

    Thank you, and yes, crows work in partnership with life and this planet, and give delight with their humor too. :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

  19. chief276 Says:

    Fine work, Alan. You find new depths, which are also heights, in "comfort"

    Bill Kenney

  20. Alan Summers Says:

    Thank you Bill, I deeply appreciate your comment here, and on so many haiku of mine over the years.

    warm regards,

    Alan

  21. Pravat Says:

    A brilliant art-of-words. The haiku unveils many layers of meaning.

  22. Alan Summers Says:

    Thank you! :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

  23. Dirk van Nouhuys Says:

    Good work, the intimate tangle of things.

    Light thickens; and the crow
    Makes wing to the rooky wood:
    Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;
    While night's black agents to their preys do rouse.
    – Macbeth

  24. Alan Summers Says:

    That Shakespeare knew his words. :-)

    Thank goodness for rooky woods everywhere though, and the companionship that crows give to the world, and as part of a team of caretakers, especially when humans create so much mess.
    :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

  25. Alan Summers Says:

    And thanks so the quote, and allusion, my wife especially appreciated that extra touch.

    warm regards,

    Alan

  26. Billie Wilson Says:

    I read this first thing this morning and it has been with me all day. An excellent example of the sheer power that can be captured in the tiniest of poems. It is haiku like this one that drew me into the haiku world, and it is haiku like this one that keeps me here, yearning to write . . . haiku like this one. Big smiles, Alan – a jewel!

  27. Alan Summers Says:

    Hi Billie! :-)

    Just that first sentence blew me away, thank you! :-)

    And then I read another sentence and another one.

    I am over the moon that this haiku has worked, given the subject of crows, and that the Tiny Words editors accepted it. It just keeps reminding me that editors can do so much for a writer, and for readers.

    It's why I keep coming back to Tiny Words, not just to submit my own work, but be able to comment on so many varied and wonderful works here.

    Your comments are so kind, and encouraging, especially as it's another dark time for me, but not my own personal health this time.

    warm regards,

    Alan

  28. sanjuktaa Says:

    Simply stunning! Love it!

  29. Alan Summers Says:

    Wow, thank you! :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

  30. Peter Newton Says:

    in this dark world only the poet's levity left

  31. Alan Summers Says:

    …and haiku (and sneery too) helps so much in particular. :-)

  32. Helen Buckingham Says:

    Love it, Alan.

  33. Alan Summers Says:

    Thanks Helen! :-)

    warmest regards,

    Alan

  34. Norah Says:

    Stunning, Alan.

  35. Alan Summers Says:

    Thanks Norah! :-)

  36. th. vandergrau Says:

    A fine example of finding just enough words to encapsulate the content!

  37. Alan Summers Says:

    Thank you so much!

    warmest regards,

    Alan

  38. Dirk van Nouhuys Says:

    A friend, who has written and published haku, but is rather literal-minded wrote me about this haiku:
    I have no idea what this means. How are crows comforting? Maybe if the poet used his other 10 syllables he could tell us.

    I replied:
    Paraphraseable content
    Crushing winter storm.

    She replied:

    I think I'm finally beginning to get this. The crows are comforted, not comforting?

    I replied:

    For me, yes, the crows are comforted, and comforting -; they are also the dark news -; they are the messengers of death carrying
    irony in their beaks -; they are the drones of Wotan -;they hover in the sky like black clouds -; they call to mind Macbeth,

    They are all those things together & more. That’s the poignancy .

  39. Alan Summers Says:

    Hi Dirk,

    It's been surprising but quite a few women, (poets and non-poets), have told me that they find crows comforting.

    I just think of crows as part of a huge caretaker crew for tidying up the planet, which with human consumption, has increased somewhat. :-)

    The dark news could be any dark news we receive, whether family, friends, the news of constant conflict reported or spun via TV and rest of the media, or something personal.

    That morning as I prepared to leave for another city, for an Arts course, I was throwing up blood when I had a shower.

    Before I phoned my wife, during the Arts Business lunch break, I felt very alone, and although I've accepted death before in moments of danger, I was very sad, as I wasn't enjoying the arts course, and felt isolated.

    Sometimes it takes a creature that isn't human, and not one of the obvious creatures, like a dog for example, to share some empathy. Crows are extremely intelligent, and have a sense of humor which can double as sensitivity in some creatures.

    See: Crow Country by Mark Cocker (ISBN: 9780224076012)

    For some reason, despite perhaps half a dozen crows around, on the patch of green by the city council's building, just going on pecking at the grass, this lone crow just kept close. I experienced company, and great comfort, from this single crow, and I didn't feel alone and isolated as much.

    This gave me the courage to phone my wife, who told me to get to see a doctor ASAP and made an appointment. Oddly enough the first doctor didn't do much, but the next day the second doctor, almost breaking into a sweat, immediately put me onto medication. I had a lift-threatening illness that in itself is also a sign of something else too.

    After a few months I was completely clear (October 2014) but I've never forgotten the comfort of crows.

    I've just been given permission to post up onto my Area 17 blog about the remarks made by a published haiku and renku writer, and her Aunt, who isn't a poet but loves crows, how it comforted them that day they saw this haiku go up.

    Thanks for your wonderful post! :-)

    warmest regards,

    Alan

  40. Seren Fargo Says:

    Thanks for this wonderful haiku, Alan. It was comforting just reading it.

  41. Alan Summers Says:

    Dear Seren,

    Thank you so much for your kind comment. I deeply appreciate your words.

    warmest regards,

    Alan

  42. Paul Heinowski Says:

    I am fascinated by this haiku though I don’t really understand it very thoroughly. I had pet jackdaws as a child and still feel an affinity with the crow family. This haiku helps me revisit this experience.

  43. Alan Summers Says:

    Hi Paul,
    .
    re:
    .
    dark news
    the comfort
    of crows

    —ALAN SUMMERS
    .
    Due to an amazing email exchange I will be posting this up onto my Area 17 blog next week. I hope that might help.
    .
    I don't know if you looked at my previous replies, but basically it was a very dark time for me after coughing up blood, expecting to have something terminal.
    .
    I was a participant in an arts business course that I wasn't enjoying, and feeling isolated. Something I don't like happen to others when I'm running art events.
    .
    I went out for a lunch break, wandering around, near the green by the city council building (that has unicorns on its roof), and a crow, one in particular, singled me out, and accompanied me, kept close.
    .
    I genuinely felt moved and comforted, and my burden was lightened. I decided to phone my wife, who immediately told me to get home and go straight to the doctors.
    .
    I had treatment and recovered later last year.
    .
    warm regards,
    Alan

  44. Alan Summers Says:

    Hi Paul,
    .
    re:
    .
    dark news
    the comfort
    of crows

    —ALAN SUMMERS
    .
    Due to an amazing email exchange I will be posting this up onto my Area 17 blog next week. I hope that might help.
    .
    I don't know if you looked at my previous replies, but basically it was a very dark time for me after coughing up blood, expecting to have something terminal.
    .
    I was a participant in an arts business course that I wasn't enjoying, and feeling isolated. Something I don't like happen to others when I'm running art events.
    .
    I went out for a lunch break, wandering around, near the green by the city council building (that has unicorns on its roof), and a crow, one in particular, singled me out, and accompanied me, kept close.
    .
    I genuinely felt moved and comforted, and my burden was lightened. I decided to phone my wife, who immediately told me to get home and go straight to the doctors.
    .
    I had treatment and recovered later last year.
    .
    warm regards,
    Alan,

  45. Dejan Pavlinović Says:

    Beautiful. Poeish :-)

  46. Alan Summers Says:

    Thank you. Poe? Well, I did love that story and film about the raven. :-)

    warm regards,

    Alan

  47. Dawn Says:

    This is a thought provoking haiku Alan. It is one top see the "other side" of the crow symbol.
    I very much like where this haiku takes me.
    Dawn

  48. Alan Summers Says:

    Thank you Dawn.

    Crows are like people, there are shades all the way from light to dark. Crows are also the caretakers of the planet, unlike humans, and sometimes the less pretty species are the ones that look after things better.

    Though I would have to say that the crow family is beautiful, and just like other caretakers, we will always need them.

    warmest regards,

    Alan

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