Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour With Mary Adler! #RRBC #RWISA

I’m so glad you could stop by and check out this post from talented #RWISA author, Mary Adler. She is a wonderful author, and I know you’ll enjoy reading her work.

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I have studied and observed crows for years, and the more I’ve learned about them, the more I admire their complex family and flock relationships. They are intelligent, create and use tools, and they teach their skills to other crows. As Rev. Henry Ward Beecher said, “If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.”

Over the years, I have told my family and friends more than they ever wanted to know about crows. One person said, after hearing the stories I told about them, that she stopped trying to run crows down with her car. (There is so much wrong with that statement, that I don’t know where to begin.)

During the non-nesting period of the year, crows gather at night to roost together, sometimes in flocks of thousands. They are stealthy and take a roundabout way to the roosting place. They have good reason to be wary. For decades, humans have killed them, even dynamiting their roosting places at night.

Like many natural creatures, they are good and bad, depending on your viewpoint, and not everyone appreciates their beauty. But I love to watch them streaming across the sky–one small group after another–as they return from foraging to join the flock. When they are together, those who have found a safe source of food will tell the others where it is. They share, but only within their own flock.

One evening, after watching them move across the sky, I wrote this:

Black Notes Beat

Black notes beat

Unfurling dusk

Across the bruising sky.

Quarter notes, half notes

Rise and fall.

Whole notes

Rest on treetops.

An arpeggio of eighth notes

Silently swirls,

Scribing a nocturne

in the fading light.

Softly they spill

to the nighttime roost:





Now the still moment,

the last note fading,

No bows, no curtsies,

No fear of reviews.

They need no applause to perform their works.

Mary Adler

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Shadowed By Death


Mary Adler

San Francisco, 1944. Sophia Nirenska, a Polish resistance fighter who survived the Warsaw ghetto uprising, finds safety in California until someone tries to kill her. She insists political enemies want to silence her, but homicide detective Oliver Wright, on medical leave from the Marines, believes the motive is more personal. He and his German shepherd, Harley, try to protect Sophia, but she insists on doing things her own way—a dangerous decision.

Oliver guards Sophia as they travel from an Italian cafe in Richmond to communist chicken farmers in Petaluma where her impetuous actions put them both in mortal danger.

When Oliver rescues a girl and her dog who are running for their lives, he discovers the dark secret at the heart of the threat to Sophia, a secret with its roots in Poland. When he does, he is forced to choose between enforcing the law as he knows it and jeopardizing Sophia or accepting a rougher kind of justice.

Shadowed by Death accurately portrays the fears and troubles of the communities of northern California as they bear the burdens of World War II and celebrate the gift of finding family among strangers.

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Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again, for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Mary Adler #RWISA Author Page


  1. Shirley Harris-Slaughter · July 10, 2019


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shirley Harris-Slaughter · July 10, 2019

    Hi Mary and Rhani! On a summer morning in 1967, my mother woke up to a huge flock of black crows on the ground in our back yard. By that afternoon we had a full fledged riot in Detroit. It was called a race riot but it was more of a looting and free for all than anything else. She took those crows as a sign of what was to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rhani D'Chae · July 10, 2019

      Wow, Shirley! Black birds are known for being harbingers. Maybe it’s more accurate than we think . Thanks for stopping by and for the call. It’s always nice to hear your voice. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Adler · July 10, 2019

      I do think animals sense changes in a way we may have been able to do once but have now lost. I’m thinking about the tame elephants who took to the hills against their riders’ wishes before the tsunami in Indonesia, I think it was. I definitely do not think we are as evolved a species as we like to think we are. Also, I was motoring up the Detroit River and the guys were sleeping down below. I noticed that all the birds were streaming away inland with a great deal of purpose. I woke up the real sailors because I thought something was going to be very wrong. We soon found ourselves in the middle of a rain and thunder and lightning storm. Not a good place to be with a huge mast sticking up into the sky, 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rhani D'Chae · July 11, 2019

        Oh my goodness, Mary, you’ee right about that! I’m glad it didn’t turn out to be a problem for you.


      • Mary Adler · July 11, 2019

        Rhani, I was younger and foolish and exhilarated by it and the almost tornado the night before that had us spinning on our mooring. Whoo hoo. Nothing like being scared to death to make life interesting. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rhani D'Chae · July 12, 2019

        Mary, you’re so right about that! There have been times in my life when I have been absolutely terrified but I’ve never felt more alive! How crazy is that! 😄


  3. Jan Sikes · July 10, 2019

    I loved Mary’s poem, but also loved her insight into the bird. I have to wonder if perhaps the Crow is one of Mary’s Totem Animals. Thanks for hosting, Rhani!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rhani D'Chae · July 10, 2019

      Hi, Jan, I’m so glad you could stop by. I think Mary is insightful on many levels. She has a gift. 🙂


  4. Mary Adler · July 10, 2019

    John, thank you so much for stopping by.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John W. Howell · July 10, 2019

    Thank you for hosting, Rhani.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. markbierman · July 10, 2019

    Crows are among the most intelligent birds. Great job on the poetry, Mary, you have a gift. Thanks for hosting, Rhani.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Adler · July 10, 2019

      Mark, I once watched a crow pick up a cracker from the snow-covered ground and take it to the birdbath I had on the ground for them. He dipped it in the water to soften it and then ate it. Another crow watched him, then picked up a cracker, stepped in the footsteps of the first crow, and dipped it in the water, standing in the same place the first crow had. Amazing! Thank you for your kind words about my poetry.

      Liked by 2 people

      • markbierman · July 11, 2019

        That’s really neat. Yes, they learn quickly and teach new generations of crows.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rhani D'Chae · July 11, 2019

        Hi, Mark. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on this wonderful post. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rhani D'Chae · July 10, 2019

      Hi, Mark, thanks for dropping by to support Mary. Happy Wednesday. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  7. D.L. Finn, Author · July 10, 2019

    I love watching our blackbirds, too and really enjoyed their poem!

    Thanks for hosting Rhani.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Adler · July 10, 2019

      Denise, if I were to be an animal, I would be either a dolphin or a crow. Odd because I don’t really like being in the water or the air. I guess if I had wings it would be okay! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Rhani D'Chae · July 10, 2019

      Thanks for stopping in, Denise. I like all birds, and greatly enjoyed Mary’s piece.


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