Bio Note: I have been writing all my life—articles, fiction, poetry, random notes and lists. I live with my husband and cat in Northern Virginia, where I write at an antique desk looking out at telephone wires and maple trees. A former magazine writer and editor, I am the author of six poetry chapbooks and have designed and self-published illustrated alphabet books on anatomy, food, literature, and other topics. I blog at www.butdoesitrhyme.com.
Strutting smartly on the lawn in sleek black suits like Philadelphia lawyers or Mafiosi the crows convene, converse, sharp eyed, heads nodding. What do they know, these clever birds? Oh, sure, they recognize the guy who gives them peanuts. And they know how to make simple tools to reach out-of-reach food. But that’s not all. Aware in the world, crows know their place in the scheme ¬ of things. Why else that shrewd chortle, that penetrating gaze? Why else would I sense crows have something important to say? Something about the taut line between spirit and earth, about thought and memory and the great sky.
Ode to the Asterisk*
O little star, little star! The Sumerians formed you with a wedge-cut reed, and now you stand for almost anything but “star.” From ancient days to medieval times, scribes used you to show insertions, deletions, or corrections. Victorians turned to you to suggest discreet passage of time—the lights are dimmed, the curtain drawn *** In comics you join a jumbled host of signs and symbols to take the place of naughty words. And, of course, you signal the footnote— that oh so scholarly way to cite a source (or maybe add a few sarcastic words). How much we ask of you, little star! Such heavy tasks for your six sweet symmetrical arms! O keyboard hero, glyph of glyphs, what must the heavenly stars think of you, their tiny namesake come down to earth! *From the Greek asteriskos, meaning little star.
©2022 Sally Zakariya
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