At the end of a long dark night
When the sea has roared itself to a standstill
And the wind sits frozen in the air
The black crows come walking.
They sweep the sand with their long beaks,
Turning their heads in a slow, solemn march
Ready to snatch up what the sea has lost,
Eager to take back what it has given.
They stride out along the length of of the strand
Listening to the messages hidden within the stillness,
Starting and stopping, strutting and scraping,
Always watchful, always hoping for more.
They will leave unseen, slipping away into the daylight,
Hiding their hopes until the next frail chance,
When they will return, unlooked for, on a breathless morning,
To feed silently on the carrion of the wild weather.