Poems by Mark Prudowsky

Poems by Mark Prudowsky

Because of their perceived destructive nature, control
of the species is allowed in certain areas. Because of their intelligence, control is often difficult or expensive. Methods for control include hunting, chemical immobilization, harassment, scare tactics, and trapping.
(website on crows)

Charles B Corvid Keep’n It Close

Afternoon Mr C sez I.
What if it is sez he, sez it on guard

as I raise an apple I’m tot’n, raise a knife. His eyes on mine wonder might I cut him

a piece and I do and nod at the squirrel carcass. He might have read my mind. He might not have.

Kinda rotten he sez and I say: Well it’s dead.
He sez not by me and I get to wonder’n well who.

Maybe my mind had a tongue. Maybe Mr C points at a hawk in the oak up ahead. Maybe turn’n to go

I get to think’n of the home in that tree―the many days timothy grass laid itself down and slept winter,

got gathered and shredded; got to think’n I hadn’t seen either the squirrel or her kits in a while, then think’n

maybe I just had. Then think’n of Mr C sleep’n under that oak and how soon

the rains and what he said last time we spoke when I offered a ride to a roof and a bed: Nah.

Thanks anyway.

The wild and me?
Gonna keep it close for a while.

Lucy B Corvid Holds Forth on Reading

If you got something to say, don’t tweet it. Write it down. I’ll read it like I read
the west dusk fade. Just now, I’m read’n

the impression that pond makes of the sky. I know it’s fuzzy. Don’t it look it nice
even so? Don’t it look like

home? Birdie is my favorite name. Borrowed it from a midnight owl on a grass snake

―a late night read. A moment ago

I read the scrape of grass on my cuffs, my cane knock’n a stump by the pond. I fish there, you know, catch

a tune―water slapp’n the bank.
Pokes me a bit. Yeah, it does.
I like the name Bunnie as well. Belongs

to the lady with the busted shopp’n cart caster and an itch fierce as a ‘coon guard’n its brood. Well, enough read’nfor now. Burdened a bit,
Ima lay myself down. Blink
back at the stars. Close my eyes.

Fade away.

On the T Line Trolley

You can call the ride from the depot to Sunnyside, Charlie’s ride home. You can call the pain in his chest awful bad. When Charlie whispers to his guide dog Tonight we gonna lay ourselves outa the rain, call it

a prayer. He rises as does his shepherd.
The trolley rolls a slow stop, opens its doors. In comes the wind and the bells of St Francis. Out goes Charlie, his dog and their prayer. On the far bank encampment, a western translucence, a knot of folk cook’n dinner,
a plastic sheet shaped like sleep close by,
a utility transformer hum’n off key.

Dusk, Corner of Patton & Lexington

For Richard

When the sky’s purple scrim goes silver, then gray and the moon drifts above the butcher shop roof,

I do not know, I cannot say for certain

if the sly grin, the half shuttered eyes taking in the rush to do all of the things we do in a home

at the end of a day say: dusk amuses me. Maybe you or I if even we took note, would call the four hours

the moon uses to rise and arc across Broadway, a long time, not see them as he does―moments which come and take leave

much like the cars and pedestrians, or the gusts that swirl leaves at the curb.

Once, before the rains, I’d see him on the corner, smiling. How’d he say it?

I’m learning to look. Looking to see. Different than waiting. Can you see? I do not know, cannot say for certain

but tonight the street beam and the moonbeam and the storefront glass and the gusts make

a shadow
in a shadow

in a shadow.

A dog walks by, the one who has shared with him its dream in which it never waits. I do not know, cannot say for certain but maybe the dog says:

You look tired. You gonna make it?

I’m nearly certain he says

I’ll be okay.
I’m fixing to rest my eyes on a home.


Author’s Bio: Mark Prudowsky has been an electrical contractor and instructor electrician training programs at City College of San Francisco and Laney College in Oakland, CA. He has an M.F.A. in poetry from Warren Wilson College and enjoys hiking and gardening.

Featured Image:

Trees on a foggy morning. Photo by Eddie Wong.

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