“A Raven in her mind…”

She said it was “a raven in her mind…”;
a thought that kept knocking against her skull
(her thick black hair flew off into the sun

that day we surfed the moon along Malibu).
Even now I see her laughter instead of hear it,
her dimpled smile, her red lips –

a momentary look that says: “I know…”,
as if the mind were translucent glass.
Sometimes when I drift between,

there is this sweet sublime, a terror
that discomforts me,
a taste of bitter honey and shampoo,

a subtle touch of burnt oil upon my exposed foot.
That night we danced till dawn
we found ourselves in trees so old they spoke;

the one she said was moving like an old goat,
the other hairy with a beard of cotton froth.
The children knew her by her eyes,

almond squirrels that dash away
and pounce again like tiger’s claws;
when playfully we fell into the grass, she teased

the silliness from my mind – like the flinging geese,
and kept them flying on past us into that stark blue,
where even now I remember her: the raven thoughts.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

11 thoughts on ““A Raven in her mind…”

      • oh, not to worry, it was so long ago, and she was happy in the end, she was always happy…

        I think her death made me know Duende in ways I’m only now beginning to understand…. she was the one who through her life and her own songs (she was an Oglala Sioux of North Dakota) a way that brought me into the earth’s ancient ways, folded into its deep songs…

        again, thanks for being you, too!


  1. I saw when I read what you wrote. It is special when that happens. I read your comments before I posted. What great joy lasting love brings, to oneself as well as others. Thank you.


      • I liked Black Candles too. After reading “a Raven in her mind” I went back to it, trying to see if the poems “talked to” each other. I keep going back to the imagery of the future a circle and the past a line in Black Candles i’m curious about this. Curious about your thought process when your memories are so bright.
        Forgive me please if this sounds silly.


      • no it’s not silly… I wonder, too! It’s like these images rise up in my mind, also I’ll be reading another poet: this time C.P. Cavafey who wrote very powerful and simplified poems with an ironic cast…

        my personal life and our civilizations get intertwined… along with my vast reading… things just seem to coalesce into this rhythm, a pattern of words that seem right… I keep restructuring it till the structure and the music come together in a simplicity that seems almost natural… I like to fuse the earthy and the mental as if both depended on each other and couldn’t live without each other…


    • Yes… tis hard, very hard. Not sure if we ever overcome it truly… a part of us dies there with the other. What’s left is this ghost that walks among the living and the dead. Yet, we go on…


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