Now that my computer is up and running once more (thank you, Callie, for guarding it!), I'd like to post a few more new poems and flash fiction from Will Mayo.
With Memories Of The Valley
Battered about the cornfield,
the old crow wandered.
Here, an ugly face full of straw
brought lost reminiscences
best not remembered.
There, pine needles too sharp for the brood
sent him in another direction.
Another compass sent him in sight of hunter's guns,
manned by those too old and blind to tell the bird.
Still he flew upon wings worn tired by time
and air gone heavy with condensation.
Remembering mates lost by the age
and young born for some reptile's fancy.
Till at last the clouds came down.
With heaven's hands he flew on
in search of the green valley.
Memories grew better with the dawn.
The Call Of The Crow
Will S. Mayo
I heard the call of the crow this morning.
It sounded distant and loud despite the pain.
I heard the cry through
trees like sentinels against the night.
Through the roar of jet airplanes
and vagrants’ mutterings against the cold.
Like the Lord Himself was to call me home
from winter’s death.
Till, at last, quite suddenly,
quiet as the dark of night,
I heard it no more.
And the forest was as empty as a grave
on a Christmas morning.
Not to be confused with Raven, the crow is an interesting figure in Native American mythology: http://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-symbols/crow-symbol.htm
And, of course, one of the Native American peoples is the Crow. They are now based in Montana.
One Long Lonely Night
Still I remember how it was one night long ago in Richmond, Virginia when I crawled shuddering out of a ditch after the sirens roared past in search of a renegade hitchhiker (me). Standing there on the ground putting my thumb out by the exit I thought that perhaps things might at last go right in a world gone wrong. Such were my thoughts when I saw that bright red Cadillac roaring down the freeway towards me heading right to my exit before at last piling on the brakes and skidding sideways into me knocking me rolling across the pavement. I let loose a bloodcurdling scream that ripped up the night and then struggled to my feet as a fat waddling man pushed his way out of the car and shouted at me, "What the hell are you doing here?! Where do you think you're headed?"
I shivered with the cold and pointed up the embankment. "There, I guess," I said, with a loss for words.
"Then get up there now, you fool!" he yelled at me and then proceeded to chase me up the hill whereupon I crawled over the chain link fence and out of his way. After that I wandered the streets most of the remaining dark before catching a couple of hours shuteye in the lobby of a rich man's hotel until being chased out by the bellhop at dawn.
Wearyeyed and beat to the bone, I put my hand out and headed out of town. That leg never was quite right after that.
Too, it's worth noting that one day I was walking along the outskirts of Baltimore back in '85 when all of a sudden a patrol car came buzzing along, its sirens blaring, and a cop hopped out the door.
"You look a little lost there," he said. "Can I see some ID?"
I put my hand in my pocket and silently handed over the wallet whole and entire. He thumbed through it and then, spying my photo ID with a picture of me dressed smartly in suit and tie with closely cropped hair and clean shaved cheeks, he turned and caught sight of me with my long straggly hair and my beard sprouting out in all directions, all of it erupting from flannel shirt and torn pants in the summertime and then said,
"One question. What happened to you?"
I shrugged. Said nothing.
"Well, everything appears in order. Have a good day."
"You, too, officer."
I walked on. The miles encompassed me and me them. Ahead, the sun glowed in a shimmering ball of fire. Soon, I was lost in the haze of another day. The exhaust was neverending.
Love Of Learning
I can remember too that time that I was 10 and my father was a mere man of 45 and he was helping me with my homework one evening when all of a sudden I broke out crying. Concerned, he looked at me and asked, "Why are you crying, son?"
"I'm crying," I said, "just as Alexander The Great cried when he felt that there was no more land left to conquer. For one day I'm afraid that there will be no more learning to be had."
"Son," he replied. "There will always be learning to be had. You can bet your boots on that."
"Are you sure?" I asked.
Then I patted my textbooks and said, "Let us continue."
Closer than ever, we studied throughout the night.
I think I have to include Cassandra Wilson's "Traveling Miles" in this entry:
I don't know if I've posted her version of "The Last Train to Clarksville":
Recently my husband played a recording of Barry Harris' "Morning Coffee," which I liked quite a bit, so I want to share it with you:
I'll finish with Pat Metheny's "Last Train Home": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hKmeSqIIbk
Be sure to vote in the Mourning and Memory contest while you have time! Voting ends on July 15!!