totemic ravens and rabbits

Kelly Neal

a bent black head cocked
to turn a blacker eye sharply
curious toward a quick interest
what could this be could this be
a bit of torn flesh or a shiny
sparkle of a bauble to fly home
and tuck safely away away today
or to eat now regurgitate later
to feed the clamoring young
and all this must be absorbed
and cogitated within a pause
of a flutter then leap aloft
collecting armfuls of air
to make one’s way back
alas back from this lack

to sit so still and silent
one can hear the twitch
of ruffled fur over skin
so alive to fear of death
each moment reduces time
to a blue translucence like
this cold moment between
the wispy grass as one waits
on passing dogs with laughing
masters to make their way far
enough to leap in tangential arcs
away away away until the dark
briar grows thick and one becomes
lost in anonymity’s thorny charms


Kelly Neal lives, teaches, and writes in central Texas. He received degrees in literature from the University of Texas at Austin, and the Bread Loaf School of English. After 25 years of only sharing his poetry with a small sampling of friends, he recently had poems published by The Axe Factory, A Literation, roguepoetry review 2015, and Viewfinder Literary Magazine. Kelly is currently finishing a project based upon the tarot, “Arcana,” with his sister Donna Neal, a digital artist and painter. Find more of his poems