A silky crow, sheen shine in bake,
clamped to bloat, so stabbing care -
though gas expelled, had long depart -
gorging on the offal there.
Carcase, Varanasi float,
Benares, back street he had birthed,
always moored, black ghats about
Ganges gods, slat water gloat;
lobbed for fear from funeral pyre,
shortage of pile wood supply,
limit, holy time applied.
When beak peck, dorsal stripped their share,
mantras, incense, saffron robes,
sanyasi silent in sage prayer,
that bird flopped off from bobbing lump,
near wallow slurping ash smudge flesh,
with belly wobble dignity.
Death too busy in this life.
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church due to Parkinson’s Disease, has had pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies. His blog is at https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com.