Missa Frequentia by Walter Bjorkman

Stranger vultures of deadening ash-pits
climbed vocally to lofty spires of supplication

the thin strangled birds heightened to stand
atop prayers sent forth by the harried villagers
as one by one the weary townspeople
filed slowly past the heap of dull remnants

the now silent birds of prey
lofted into the open air
circling wider with each passage
of another face
over the mutilations of their fellow men

Slowly the dotted figures crested the hill
and disappeared in absolute silence
each without answer from afar
of what turned this vile story
into one of mortal agony


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Filed under Walter Bjorkman

9 responses to “Missa Frequentia by Walter Bjorkman

  1. Eerie scene, Walter! I really liked the rhythm in the line, “the thin strangled birds heightened to stand.” The swirling birds and sounds worked together to catch me up in the dark vision.

  2. evocative and darkly lyric writing…the raptors standing upon prayers image is wonderful. Poe, Shirley Jackson (The Lottery) and a hint of Gatsby weave together in this haunting ode.

  3. Nicely dark, nicely done.

  4. len kuntz

    spooky and dark. great job, walt.

  5. What is it about vultures? (Fascinating.) On top of that, stranger ones! There is something here that I’m not accessing yet, so I have to come back to. It’s like the secret under-layer: a beckoning. (Thinking my brain is just too weary, everyone else knows… don’t! Don’t tell me. I want to figure it out myself.) I really like the mood and imagery – everything I can see on the surface.

  6. Kelly

    nice parallels between the crowd of the air and that of the sky, held together by religion and death

  7. Pingback: Week #44 – Crowd | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  8. relying on great influences, the darkness present, the mood so brilliantly, deftly conveyed.

  9. Walter

    Thanks everyone. This is a re-working of an old one that I got inspired, if that is the word, after watching the news for the first time in many many months. Death everywhere, not just the quake & tsunami.

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