Cronk! Raven’s call. “Diet is varied and opportunistic”. Cronk!, announcing carrion. Big black bird of varied reputations, mythical, dark. Cronk! Associated with death.

Why? Raven, not hawk nor dove, just a witness, an opportunistic feeder. Raven hears the gunshots, raven flies in, watches, waits.

                                    With each bullet fired

                                    Obliterated childhood

                                    His own soul fading

                                    To himself brings brutal death

                                    Innocence is carrion.

Cronk! Raven calls in her family, teaches them to thrive. They, opportunistic feeders, learn to listen for the gunshots. Carrion eaters do not wonder at the source, do not wonder why there are so many fallen children.


Carrot Ranch March 1, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a raven. It can be in nature or used to describe humanity as a metaphor. Follow the bird. Go where the prompt leads. Respond by March 6, 2018, to be included in the compilation (published March 7). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


12 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Very sad piece, D. Too many shots, too many childhoods shattered. You can’t blame the ravens for being ravens, though. They are doing what they need to do for the earth. Pity those taking the shots wouldn’t learn from them too.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I’ll say something more. Your post leading to the prompt mentioned symbolism. The great American bald eagle is also a carrion eater. I have seen them; beautiful birds of prey (we love that; the black and white that is red white and blue) but they will also pick at road-kill and dump refuse. I’ve seen them. I find them less charming than a raven or a crow. Less symbolic.
        I started into this piece with the notion that symbols get maligned, blamed, or used, both shield and excuse for unconscionable behaviors that have nothing to do with them.
        The ‘he’ in the tanka is the shooter, it is he who in shooting obliterates his own childhood and erodes his own soul; but just behind the shooter is society. If you read the ‘he’ as being the patriarch in charge, that’s okay too, the interpretation makes sense. In considering that, I had to realize that he is a very broken child; because of his age we would say mentally ill. The patriarch. In charge.
        The ravens in this are behaving naturally. The humans? I hope not.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Symbology is like a language that can reveal more than what we intend to say. And, as you point out it can also be used to cover up, hide and misdirect. In many ways, I think adherence to symbols is an excuse not to think — we simply feel “proud” when the eagle flies. But the writer observes befor any word is ever written. There is a sacredness to this process. We look at the old symbols yet allow other symbols to interact and we apply our idea in a package that allows readers to contemplate the symbology. Discourse is a part of writing and reading. I’m liking your discourse on symbols, eagles and “he” who heads the patriarch with a broken mind.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Ravens « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s