This was one of the biggest ravens I've ever seen. It was about the size of a duck. In fact, I saw a pair of ducks in exactly the same fountain a few days earlier;
They're a little more in the foreground, obviously, so it doesn't quite work as a good way to show the size of the raven. This fountain is part of a "Santee Town Centre" sign in front of a shopping centre, at the usually empty edge of the CostCo parking lot. The sign somewhat conceals the four large wooden boxes I guess CostCo decided to put there since no-one uses that part of the parking lot. The boxes had only been there about a week when I saw that raven a couple days ago. There were a couple more ravens on top of and around the boxes.
I've often fantasised about buying beef jerky and trying to feed it to the ravens the way I feed bread to the ducks. I see them eating road kill now and then and on this particular day, there was a bad smell from around the boxes that I guessed had drawn the ravens. I hoped it wasn't one of the ducks--I went down to look and noticed a bunch of straw fanning out on the asphalt by the boxes. The boxes were made of wide spaced slats of ragged plywood, like each box was really six pallets nailed together. Each box was about as high as my shoulder.
Now I was thinking the smell was coming from inside the boxes. There were several more large ravens about and they seemed reluctant to fly away. I wondered if someone at CostCo had really fouled up and left a big meat inventory out there, but from the way the sunlight was getting through the slats there couldn't have been a lot in the boxes. I looked inside one of them and didn't see a lot in there but straw at first and what looked like a bundle of wet blue and purple laundry. The smell was horrible up close, it almost knocked me down. I wondered if spoiled meat could actually give off toxic fumes. Then the pile moved.
For an instant I thought someone was buried under it, but then it rippled. A ridge of material on the pile waved like part of a sea anemone, expelling a blast of air from between the folds so putrid, like being coughed on by a giant who'd just eaten a diseased dinosaur he pulled from a tar pit.
Blood and other dark, hot fluids shot out from it, some of it getting through the slats, driving the birds crazy. I went into the CostCo to buy a crowbar, hoping I could help the birds to the meal. So, happy April first, everyone.
Twitter Sonnet #370
Tables ground to criminal salt attack.
Shakers stand still in the old kitchen war.
Coiling trains are never on the right track.
The white matchbox waits for the wax to pour.
Maple tunnels warmly impress the night.
The day's strings straighten against the wall.
Root beer tells the small sleeper not to fight.
The grey and silent space cools a suede fall.
Melted Hershey legs collapse for magic.
Broken koopa spines drip with mercury.
Cross hatched shrouds drift down from Sydney Paget.
Pale dust shows a bent brown accessory.
Tar toupees trended on old Tatooine.
Skies hold sand solidified gasoline.