Black and White

For Kerry’s Art Prompt on Real Toads.  Two falcons, Chernobog (black) and Belobog (white) in the mythological duality of Slavic religion.  Because I am interested in the duality of good and bad, I did some research into these two beings and how they play out in Slavic religion. I spent quite a bit of time researching about birds flying and their aerodynamics, falcons and falconry, and of course, the two falcons led in their flight by the eagle.

Black and White
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…” William Butler Yeats

the eagle glides
leading two falcons –
drifting along in the
aerodynamic wash-up behind the eagle.
one is of deepest black
the other is of purest white.
no jesses can hold these two –
they are free to fly where they will.
good or evil –
heaven or hell –
starless night or sun-filled day.
we choose –
or not.

Chernobog & Belobog
Used With Permission


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susie Clevenger
    Jul 06, 2019 @ 18:03:55

    Choices..They bless or curse us. Love your take on the prompt.


  2. kim881
    Jul 07, 2019 @ 02:53:24

    The Yeats quote is one of my favourites, Toni, and prefect for this poem of contrasts and choices. I especially like the rhymes in the lines:
    ‘they are free to fly where they will.
    good or evil –
    heaven or hell’.


  3. kim881
    Jul 07, 2019 @ 02:53:49

    That should say ‘perfect’ – apologies.


  4. Magaly Guerrero
    Jul 07, 2019 @ 02:58:39

    Life and death, the full extend of both… will, indeed, happen as they will. We can choose to scream or not, run or not, but the smacking of dark and white wings will come anyway.


  5. sanaarizvi
    Jul 07, 2019 @ 03:29:49

    This is deeply philosophical and wise, Toni! ❤️ Dark and light/ good and bad/ hope and despair – these reside in every human being .. and in the end we are left with choices, which we opt to go with 🙂


  6. Kerry
    Jul 07, 2019 @ 03:54:36

    This is wonderfully structured – you created that sense of balance so well. I am thrilled the prompt led you to investigate the mythology and art of falconry, I am also pleased that your falcons have no jesses to restrain them.


  7. annell4
    Jul 07, 2019 @ 09:01:33

    Yes, we are provided with lots of choices, and we have to be responsible for them. The old saw, “but the dog ate my homework,” just won’t do.


  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jul 07, 2019 @ 15:53:40

    I do love the choice… and I always think both darkness and light nest in every human heart.


  9. robtkistner
    Jul 07, 2019 @ 20:55:19

    This was wonderful Toni. To not choose is still a choice…


  10. purplepeninportland
    Jul 08, 2019 @ 16:29:23

    Love the choices in this poem, Toni.


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