Crow at the Castle Gate

There is no lonelier spot
than the castle on the moors,
hung over with scudding cloud
where a lone tattered crow soars.
As it guards the castle gate
it utters raucous caws,
eyeing the path with a shiny eye
while sharpening beak and claws
to pick at the first stars of twilight,
a shadow unzipping the night.

The crow was once the familiar
of a woman both beautiful and rich,
and everyone had accused her
of being a powerful witch.
The locals erected a stake and pyre
where they tied her with her crow
and set them both on fire.
Their souls melded together
and they flew as a single black bird
to guard the castle forever.

Kim M. Russell, 2nd September 2019

Image result for Gothic crow on a castle gate
Image fond on Pinterest

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Wordy Monday with Wild Woman: Castle Ruins, Lowering Skies… Tell us a Story!

Sherry is taking a page out of Magaly’s book this Monday and asks us to tell a story in in either poetry or prose, and in 313 words or less, which is inspired by the Moors, the lowering skies, the ruins of a castle, the ghosts of times long past, the phantom tinkling of a piano…

22 thoughts on “Crow at the Castle Gate

  1. I LOVE this, Kim! So atmospheric, such a vivid scene you paint – and then the perfection of their souls merging into the crow guardian of the castle gates. I absolutely love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is deliciously dark and riveting, Kim! ❤️ I especially love the closing image; “Their souls melded together and they flew as a single black bird to guard the castle forever.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose it’s a happy ending of sorts; it would have been lonely for the crow with only one soul, but it has a companion soul to keep it company. I think it might weave a few spells too!


    1. I have a fondness for corvids, there’s a lot of mythology attached to them. Some people are scared of them, especially the larger birds, but I enjoy their antics.


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