ws crow
Kafka on the Shore
by James Penha

Searching sands
for the detritus
of power
or love
in time
the crow finds
Gregor Samsa
in his shell
with wings
he never knew
he had.

The crow pecks
at, nibbles,
swallows Gregor
who digested will
finally learn
to fly.

IMAGE: “Crow in flight” by Watanabe Seitei (1918).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Inspired by The Metamorphosis, I wrote the poem after reading the Murakami novel Kafka on the Shore.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and in poetry. Snakes and Angels, a collection of his adaptations of classic Indonesian folk tales, won the 2009 Cervena Barva Press fiction chapbook contest; No Bones to Carry, a volume of his poetry, earned the 2007 New Sins Press Editors’ Choice Award. Penha edits The New Verse News, an online journal of current-events poetry.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author on the shore in Bali (circa 1987) awaiting his transformation and wanting to fly.