Freedom to fly at will
has its rewards.

Imagine, says Raven,
ascending, giddily,
twelve-thousand feet
to a snow-capped peak
and thereafter experiencing
the descent, through clouds,
passing first bare patches
of tundra, prong-horned sheep,
and then the tree-lined firmament.

Raven has no fear of these
flights, while cleaving
to the solid earth.

But the sea is bigger
than life, and reminds
Raven of mortality
in its vastness and depth
and the unseeable mysteries
it contains as it speaks.

Raven watches the waves
crest to monstrous heights.
Is the sea bigger than death?
Or possessing a power
Raven cannot fathom?
Is the sea water or fire?

Raven retreats, lacking
knowledge of the truth,
of the earth, of the elements
that inform both animals
and humans. Raven feels,
flying away from fear,
from spiritual sustenance,
that he is craven.