Winter 2016 Showcase

crows3Happy New Year. Or is it, where you are? Maybe by custom and tradition it isn’t. Who is to say when a new year begins? Here in Scotland the crows don’t care one jot about when one year turns into another, as long as they have somewhere to perch, and some leavings to swoop down on. Neither do they care at all about flattery – tell them that their song is beautiful, that the minimalism of its single vowel and accompanying rhotic consonant is rich in hidden profundity, and they will hop sideways away with a scowl, as if to say “And what the hell do you know about it?” The fox’s con act, and his mocking rebuke, still stings the whole race of corvidae, though jays and magpies look down their beaks as if to say, “Nothing to do with us, pally!”

In this neck of the woodland, the crows punctuate both townscape and countryscape, crotchets on the score of ploughed fields, coffee-clutches round roadkill, old and tattered bin-bags and wind-snatched umbrellas in the sky, one moment graceful in an up-gust, the next aerobatically ruined by a down-draught. There is scarcely a moment you can look out, search, and not spot a crow. Small wonder they should figure so large in moments, and in poetry. Small wonder they should gather, in a murder, about me now.

Thank you – you crow-herders, you! – for your imaginings and interpretings, and welcome to the Winter 2016 Crowcase!

Marie Marshall
the zen space


Ali Znaidi (Tunisia)


morning of crows…
her kohl-rimmed eyes
even blacker

winter sky
teacher explains

winter crow…
even in my dreams

crows4a carrion in the snow…
crow collapses
on crow


Simon Hanson (Australia)


first light
across the treetops
the eye of a crow

full moon
befriending a crow
and the crow me

crow feathers
a little blue sheen
in my quiver

on a tall ladder
a passing thought for sailors
in the crows-nest

heat wave
a crow’s caw
crosses the paddock

wild juniper
gathering dusk
gathering crows


Debbie Strange (Canada)

Debbia Strange


Pat Geyer (USA)

still keeping
the numbers under his hat…
crows feet grow

first crowing…
morning wakes in a boast
head up high

crow’s quill bleeds…
the ink of laws whose justice
is yet to be seen

last straw
trembles in the wind…
scared crow


Carole Johnston (USA)

crows in the oak tree
everything and nothing
voices on the wind

crow feather
black butterfly wing
found by a child
glued to a rowan twig her
first magic wand

she calls me to talk
about crows

on the day he died
black eyes narrowed
she told me
the crows had eaten
holes in all her apples

three crows
fly up from
the stone circle

she sits
on the curb
bags sprawled
in the snow
calling crows


Andrew James Murray (UK)




Michael Jones (USA)

Michael Jones 254

Michael Jones 109

Michael Jones 179


Rachel Sutcliffe (UK)


his death day
in graveyard shadows
gathered crows

moonless night
at the overgrown grave
the caw of crows

moor mist
crows settle
on the bleached skull

crows8descending darkness
the crow sinks
into it


Ken Sawitri (Indonesia)

first raven cry
aspartame gets
a natural name

cawing crows
my first white page’s caught
in raven ink

a crow has settled
I walk down the path
to where it diverges

a crow’s cry
the old dreams come back
to me

sea raven’s eye
I trust
the sailing editors

… and with artist Jimat Achmadi

Ken Sawitri


Susan Lee Kerr (UK)

Crow’s swoop and rise
above a red bus – black tick
of approval



the zen space has just heard that that Mark Gilfillan, editor of The Brief (British Haiku Society) has had to step down from his position. His replacement for now is Gunita Zaube.

The Strokestown International Poetry Festival will be held in County Roscommon, Ireland, from 29th April to 1st May 2016. Their competition is currently running – closing date Friday 29th January – and there are Euro cash prizes to be won. Visit If you get in touch, please mention you heard about it from the zen space.

Another competition, this time for haiku, is being run by Snapshot Press. closing date for that is 31st January. It’s for the kudos of appearing on their annual calendar. The 2016 calendar is still available from If you enter the competition, or get in touch with Snapshot Press, please mention that you heard about them here. Thanks.

Snapshot press have just sent another item – details of The Lammas Lands, a collection of haiku by Matthew Paul. Check it out here.

Lastly, don’t forget the current issue of Haibun Today! You’ll find it at


Do you know of anyone who writes short, in-the-moment poetry? If so, please alert them to the presence of the zen space.


The next showcase at the zen space will be Spring 2016, which will be released, subject to karma, on 1st April 2016.

Please note that the copyright of all written work and images used in this Showcase and elsewhere in the zen space is held by the creating author/artist, even when not explicitly stated, and may not be used elsewhere without permission.




3 thoughts on “Winter 2016 Showcase

  1. colonialist says:

    Crows will have caws for complaint, here?

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