heroes to zeroes

17 Jun

i took a journey.
i spotted three red head turkey vultures loitering in a cemetery and
i thought what a wonderful cliche and marched on,
up and over a hill.
i spotted a red cardinal perched on a branch.
i thought it’s whistle was a red carpet welcome.

the two kinds of birds became great symbols.
i became convinced of their meaning.
the turkey vultures became my starting gun
and the cardinal my finishing line.
the red of life and death.
book ends.
cemeteries and tree tops,
earth and sky,
my mind flirted with many other possibilities.

i took a second journey,
retracing the steps of the first one and
there was no red cardinal perched on a branch and
there were no red head turkey vultures in the cemetery.
there was only green grass, tombstones and puffy clouds
and that was ok too.


8 Responses to “heroes to zeroes”

  1. glenrussellslater June 17, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

    This is outstanding, Steve.


    • Steve Myers June 17, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

      well thanks Glen! I’m glad you think so.

  2. glenrussellslater June 17, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

    And quite original, as well. I don’t know where you get these great ideas, but you’ve got a great imagination.


    • Steve Myers June 17, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

      i really did see those turkey vultures. i couldn’t freaking believe it. I had never seen any before and to make it even more spooky or expected, they were sitting in the damn cote des neiges cemetery beside a bunch of tombstones! and then about 2 hours later at the end of the same walk, i spotted a cardinal on a branch.

      i don’t know much about birds so i had to look on the computer to be sure, but sure enough, the turkey vulture pictures were almost identical to what i had seen. Weird to see them in a cemetery since human bodes are buried and out of sight. Nothing to eat for the vulture. Maybe they were just relaxing in a place they felt comfortable? I can relate to that. I enjoy walking through cemeteries, but if one of them turkey vultures got to close, i would scream or run or freak out or something. I ain’t no crocodile dundee.

  3. glenrussellslater June 17, 2016 at 9:37 pm #

    You have the ability to convey to the reader exactly what is on your mind.

    • Steve Myers June 17, 2016 at 10:51 pm #

      thanks for saying so Glen. that’s always my goal.

  4. kvennarad June 18, 2016 at 4:46 am #

    But no woodpecker? Great poem!

    • Steve Myers June 18, 2016 at 10:48 am #

      thanks Marie. there was a branch that had fallen. it was sitting outside the cemetery’s wrought iron gates, right next to the tree. looked like a jigsaw puzzle piece amputated, a perfect fit. the previous night’s wind musta done it, but who knows? maybe a gang of peckers got to nibbling.

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