23 July 2021

Episode 129: Ask Not For Whom The Vulture Lands, It Lands For Thee

Another fresh poem making its debut on the podcast this week! I've been reading a lot of more sparse poems lately, but "Ask Not For Whom The Vulture Lands..." is step back in the direction of using more words to give us some rhythm in addition to rhyme. You can find the text of the poem at the bottom of this post, but before moving on I wanted to offer my apologies to John Donne, Ernest Hemingway, and Edgar Allen Poe for borrowing from all of them in the writing of this piece. Like Harry Chapin said in his live recording of "30,000lbs of Bananas," you'll know it when it comes by.

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Ask Not For Whom The Vulture Lands, It Lands For Thee

One hazy morning while out walking

The wife, the dog, and I were talking

(Only spouse and I were talking;

The dog was just out there to pee).


We happened on a large black bird

I wondered if she had overheard?

Of what and which we both were talking

And if she'd swooped down to see.


At first I thought she was a turkey

We get them 'round here, so often lurking

In the woods where folks go walking

Maybe it … was a he?


And then I took a closer look and found

That this bird was far too round

I took his measure, firmly marking

That bird was not a wild turkey.


I paid my wife this next cognition

Aided by my further vision

A closer look without gawking:

This was a vulture, Comma, turkey.


A turkey vulture there just sitting

Eying roadkill, stock-still sitting.

Dare I say its best at lurking

Against the roadbed's adjacent quey.


And so we left him (her?) there in peace

The wife, the dog, and by default, me.

We left that turkey vulture to his hawking

Obeyed his silent, hungry plea.


Thus some truths eternal hold

Be they often meek or seldom bold

See me sane and never barking,

Ask not for whom the vulture lands:

It lands for thee.

Left Hand Poetry: My Podcast of Poems

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