My Raven by Frank Klaassen

Poem title: My Raven Poet: Frank Klaassen Poem: Somehow you left coffee grounds on our lace curtains and then peered bitterly out of the stains into the kitchen. So I tore them down. (I never liked the fussy things). But when I saw the glycerin capsule on the counter, pecked flat in a pool of water, and the shriveled purple flowers, it was your dark eyes that drove me to wipe and throw the things away. If only you were brave enough to go into the fire, my raven, brave enough to burn up all your anger. Your fear has spidered up my ribs and hangs upon my jaw and watches me with my water, exorcisms, brooms, and scissors, hammers, prayers, and razors, conjuring the drawers and closets to make more space for you. After the police took you away, three dark hairs left their half-told story, coiled on stark white porcelain. And when I had my shower they began the dance again: the heroine and her two enemies spun and twisted round each other, and you looked up at me, unblinking, just as you were swept into the darkness. End of Poem. Credits: Copyright © Frank Klaassen Appears in the League of Canadian Poets’ Fresh Voices 21, edited by Joan Conway and Blaine Marchand Frank Klaassen teaches History at the University of Saskatchewan. His poetry has appeared in numerous international venues including The Malahat Review, Stand, Oxford Poetry, The Dalhousie Review, and Canadian Literature. His other publications include The Transformations of Magic and Making Magic in Elizabethan England.


This poem first appeared in Fresh Voices 21, a project from and for the League’s associate members, edited by Joan Conway (Check out her personal blog!) and Blaine Marchand. The League’s associate members are talented poets who are writing and publishing poetry on their way to becoming established professional poets in the Canadian literary community. We are excited to be taking this opportunity to showcase the work of our associate members in this series!

Fresh Voices 21 includes poetry by: Lisa Alletson, Moni Brar, Neall Calvert, Melanie Flores, Michelle Hillyard, Frank Klaassen, Joseph LaBine, Josephine LoRe, John Oross and Nan Williamson.

Check out Fresh Voices 21