Raven at Your Shoulder
Part I

A raven at your shoulder, looking
Too fleeting is your soul's safe haven
Raven on your shoulder, seeing
the colours in me, for you, blazing
 
You kiss me on the street, lamps glowing
and for a while, the bird has flown
We laugh in shadow, sorrow knowing
love takes its place in your heart, its home
 
Will I see you today?
Or has the bird returned
Has it robbed you
of the peace you've earned?
 
Can we outrun its silent flight?
will you walk with me 
in the bright sunlight
where it cannot go 
where its wings won't follow
Can I free you from your lonely plight?
 
Your shoulder, bare
I kiss you there
the only darkness falling
is your tumbling hair
 
We drink the night
drown, with delight
and for a while rejoice
at the raven's flight
 
Yet, it returns
its anger burns
and though my heart
its lessons learn
I shall persist
my love won't rest
until despair's dark crow
returns to nest
in the branches of some withered tree
far away from you
and you will be free.


Part II

She freed the bird in Victoria Park
with another lover
I could not see his face, or hers
though that really did not matter
Until she suddenly turned
and looked right at me
and like the leaves they had kicked
I wanted to scatter
 
She looked at me, deeply
as if she knew I was there
her eyes fixed on mine
I think I looked back, in despair
I hadn't expected to see her
not here, or anywhere
she had become like a dream
for it had been more than a year
 
I think I felt angry 
but only from shock
I'd no time to prepare any walls 
that would block
the way she got in
like she always had done
For a moment, we time-travelled 
to a day now long-gone
 
I was confused by her eyes
they did not criticise
they looked open, inviting
yet I thought she despised
every small thing about me
because I was mean at the end
 
She had said cruel things back
left me with that
her last words were awful
they didn’t leave me intact
 
I don't know what she saw
right there in my eyes
or in my blank expression
it seemed she could not appraise
I don't blame her
for I do not know what it meant
I know I should have smiled
but it would have come out all bent
 
She was right there, with him
and I could not ignore
that she looked somewhat happy
at least happier than before
freeing the bird, her raven
for once
As her face fell, it swooped back
it then chased my sad glance
 
I outran it, for a while
though it hovered ahead
it knew I would tire, which was fine
I'd intended
to draw it away 
away from the park
to leave her in its beauty
with only the larks
 
I would draw this damn raven 
so far away from her
I would catch it and keep it 
and strip its wings bare
Then I would lock up the cage
and swallow the key
I would keep this dark raven
and she would be free
 
And I'd never go back
where her happiness stood
I would free her from it
from its misery, for good.