As The Crow Flies

I read somewhere, a long time ago, that the nursery rhyme "Ring-a-ring o' Roses" was suspected to have been about The Black Death (or some other pandemic). I was fascinated by the dark and grisly origin of a children's playground game and noticed its not an isolated case.

One of the most appealing things about Fairytales is that many of them are very dark, lots of axe-chopping, wolf slaughtering, pig eating and witch murdering topped off with some really bittersweet endings. There's a dark streak in children where just a little bit of scary is a good thing. Roald Dahl's books, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and his book of Revolting Rhymes, are appealing to children for that very reason. Dahl had no problem putting the children in his stories into very dark situations.

I recall as a young child being on vacation with my family and coming across a small bridge across a stream. We were somewhere in the Highlands of Scotland so the place was quiet and isolated. It was here that my dad told me the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. The idea of a troll underneath the bridge captivated me and scared me a little...even though the bridge was barely a foot high.

So, years later when I wanted to build some background for characters and stories, I started writing some poetry. I'm no poet but I thought I'd give it a try. I wanted to write in a style that would be interesting to children but just a little bit dark. I wanted the poem to be more of a metaphor for whatever your imagination could dream up.

I still don't consider myself a poet but it was a fun exercise.

With apologies to all the real poets out there! :0)

"As The Crow Flies. . ." 

A Ravenous horde
darkens the skies.
Take hold my hand
As the Crow flies.

Swallow the children
Enraptured by lies
Swift, full of sorrow
As the Crow flies.

Smiles on their faces
Dead, Eagle eyes
Watchful till evening
As the Crow flies.

Nightingale graceful
Everyone dies.
A blanket of stars
As the Crow flies.




  1. I'm no poet either, but I like it in small doses (like this one - I like the structure and tone of it). What an interesting idea to turn to poetry for character and prose development!

    I always believe that other writing is essential to keep your primary writing fresh and fluid. Poetry would not have been on my own list to do so, but I like this idea as a possibility. I was just reading a novel where one of the characters believes poetry is the single best writing form for emotional exploration. I don't know if I agree with that, but there is a lot to be said for the poetic form that can take a writer (and reader) in all kinds of directions.

    1. The poem was written eons ago but I do still tend to work hard on background and history for my characters and story ideas. I like building textures and I just felt this helped. It was a fun exercise.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a thoughtful comment. :0)


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