When snow brings sleep and silence covers all,
Raven dreams skyward to pluck the light once more
from heaven's roof. Waking, framed funereal
against the ash-gray sky, brown fields before
him capped in spinning white, the wind roars
echo to his hoarse quork and rattle call---
to hunt with corvid cunning, swooping low
for any darting, glint-eyed catch---he alone
champion, prime, primal, predatory one
can hold back cold, hunger, death and night.
Norse god Hrafn, who first captured the sun,
hurled it down to make the dark world bright,
black against the crystal curtain soaring
pine high, greets winter's stroke upon his wings.
---Julianna McCarthy, from A Bird As Black As The Sun: California Poets on Crows and Ravens. The image is Odin's Raven by Jennifer Webb.
I just couldn't resist wrapping up this meditation on Odin with a poem--- and I see his messengers everywhere here in the Mojave. This is a great book of poetry by the way, if these smart birds speak to you too.