M is for Mortality

Day 102 - Gambel's Quail

Image by MissTessmacher via Flickr

Submitted to Leo’s Z to A Challenge: http://leonnyes.wordpress.com/

M is for Mortality

A dead quail lay on the path,
legs extended
grasping the last touch of life,
eyelids sealing off earth’s beauty forever.

Layers of gold feathers
zigzagged its empty breast.
Clods of earth soiled
the handiwork of some obscure Artisan.

I knelt to honor
nature’s defiled chalice,
scooped the chilled stiff form into a plastic bag.

It landed with a thud in the empty garbage can.

This poem was originally published in Twenty-Three Magazine, 2006


14 thoughts on “M is for Mortality

  1. Rumya says:

    Sad to see such a beautiful bird dying but the only truth is all that comes to life has to die some day…


  2. Nanka says:

    Ahh…a nice but sad one. I know of someone who gives even birds a decent burial. Right for a dignified death I suppose…


  3. Jingle says:

    smart choice on m.


  4. loved the imagery, and the narration had a sadness to it, as well as the last thud 😦


  5. Rajlakshmi says:

    loved the picture you painted of the bird…
    the thud did hurt though, when beautiful creations like this bird die …
    beautiful write.


  6. shalmalee says:

    Awww…..sad but beautifully written 🙂


  7. Talon says:

    You make the bird’s demise beautiful. What a gift that is!


  8. Dakshima says:



  9. david king says:

    It was good, and then, with the inspirational last line, it got brilliant.


  10. Kavita says:

    Ouch!!! Such is the sad story of many a life, AND many an art too!!
    Excellent metaphorical use of the bird here, Victoria!!

    And after reading so many of your lovely poems, I know one thing for sure – you have a fascination for Quails!! 🙂 And isn’t that sweet!!!!!


    • Probably because my yard is full of quail. Right now they are fattening up for winter. But I must confess, doves and hummingbirds are my favorites. Today I’m going to post one on the loon.


  11. I liked the description of the bird…Really “the handiwork of some obscure Artisan.”

    My M is a murder…


  12. revbillcook says:

    This is a study in mortality if I have ever read one. The mater-of-fact-ness ending caught me off guard. Very effective. – bill


  13. Rinkly Rimes says:

    A very vivid picture and a timely reminder that dead is dead! Into the garbage bin with the lot!


Your comment and feedback are important to me. Thank you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s