John Dingwall Bio_photo

A Murder of Craas by John Dingwall

Took a walk to the craa wid.

Pillaring pines, bare at the waste, shabby at the heid.

The grun is fern and autumn’s auburn waste.

The wid belongs to the throaty wail of the craas

that nest upon the pine tops in their hunners.

As dawn nears, the vivid pinkish sky grows noir with their carrion dance.

The craas wedding it’s caad.

And as the rooks and hoodies and carrions descent on treetop beds, the wid itself turns black,

some pines with ten to a brunch.

A restless noir spectre.


Wandering to the wid,

to the first trees abeen the dry steen dyke,

I feel dark een upon me; hunners, thoosands.


I see brunches twitch.


Hans feel the cardboard texture of tree bark.


The sticky kiss of an aal cobweb.


I step deeper into the wid.

A craa caas at me something callous.

Another joins in, this time a waar cry,

and a retched symphony begins.

A chorus of pain and agony.

A thoosand beaks yell “awa”.


Heid tilted back,

I violently clash the palms of my hans the gither.

The momentum leaves a sting.


The soond of a cyclone,

of wings skelping wings,

brunches battering brunches.

A spectral black veil crams the evening sky

as a feather nae bigger than my index finger tumbles from the tree tops,

spinning top to bottom.

It lands on my reid palms.

I feel its plastic stem, where the black melts to grey,

so licht to the touch.

In its wake comes a hunner more,

a blin-drift of sable sna.


All licht is extinguished.


I breathe in a moofae of faain feathers.


And choke on my grief,

as a murder of craas kills the sun

and gives birth to the necht.



Craa – crow, brunch – branch, licht – light, necht – night, hunner – a hundred, thoosands – thousands, sna – snow, moofae – mouthful, faain – falling, reid – red, caa – call, grun – ground, wid – wood, heid – head, awa – away, een – eyes, hans – hands, the gither – together, abeen – beyond/above, Steen – stone, aal – old, blin-drift – heavy shower of snow.