Rae Crossman

The Conrad Grebel Review 33, no. 2 (Spring 2015)

no bird song verb ever can be found
no cataract chant
no wind wail
no syllables as sibilant as reed whisper
no tumble of words into waves
what voice can rain
how can lungs thunder
mouths crack the trunk of a tree
how can lips make runnels
roar into rapids
who knows how to hum summer
like the cicada
who knows how to tongue
the notes of sleet
yet the howl of a wolf
will answer the howl of a man
loons on a lake
will cry when called
and the mountain return
the shout of its name
no bird song verb ever can be found
but in the searching
sings a resonant sound
and song is telling
what can’t be told
song is awe made bold
song is blood flow
song is bone
song is the silence of stone
song is leap
between heart and bird
song is spirit heard


Rae Crossman, program director of “Waterloo
Unlimited” at the University of Waterloo, writes
poetry for the page and for oral performance. His
collaborative projects include storytelling, choral
compositions, and outdoor theatrical pieces.