Brian Mayo

Gold Star - 12,347 Points (1960)

Wild Poppy - Poem by Brian Mayo

A man with a gun whispers
in a field of wildflower and tall grass.
I listen,
like skipping stones by moonlight.
I hear the last grain
rattle
and fall…
and hit bedrock.
Look for me after the rain
where the dirt road ends
and the trickle becomes a torrent.
Look for the wild poppy pushing through my ribs.

Topic(s) of this poem: death

Form: Free Verse


Comments about Wild Poppy by Brian Mayo

  • Bri Edwards (3/15/2017 4:59:00 PM)


    in case it ain't there: to MyPoemList

    and i'm swiping it for my/our March 2017 showcase.

    Thanks.

    bri :)
    (Report) Reply

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  • Bri Edwards (7/24/2016 4:44:00 PM)


    'Wild Poppy' revisited. did pamela proofread her comment in light of your poem, i wonder. i neither saw nor heard any whispering wildflowers. more like a murderer or lousy hunter whispering i gotcha now! . yes, an exclaimed whisper.

    and upon second reading (today's reading by me) [and BEFORE i read your response to my earlier comment; ya know i never would have seen it IF i hadn't come back half a year later and looked] i thought about grain. i don't remember what kind of grain i thought of the first time. wheat? barley? but this time i thought grain was used to refer to buckshot. ok, gunpowder. i suppose you could be saying the exploding gunpowder made an explosion which rattled an eardrum. but fall and hit make me think of a pellet of buckshot. i did NOT think of grains through an hourglass. i tend to think NOT in symbolism.

    btw, i didn't mean (i don't think) in my first comment that i had fallen into that trap with this poem. i know i have for some others.

    ...................................I listen,
    like skipping stones by moonlight. .......i STILL don't get this.

    did you find a rib in your garden as well. perhaps one of adam's, which god dropped and could not be bothered to pick up? ?

    bri :)

    thanks for your earlier response. i send mine directly to the poet as a message, as you may know.
    (Report) Reply

  • Pamela Sinicrope (3/16/2016 8:42:00 AM)


    I came back to this poem again today. There is something mythic and mesmerizing about this one. Whispering wildflowers and skipping stones in moonlight. It has such a musical quality to it and the scene is just chilling. More like an opera than a symphony...one that happens in just a few seconds. Timeless. (Report) Reply

  • Bri Edwards (12/15/2015 9:56:00 AM)


    people sometimes tend to throw their own interpretation into a poem comment. ……………which I guess is pretty normal, especially when the poem is so ……….hmmm? unclear?

    [[they often also mistake fiction for nonfiction and assume the author is telling a true ‘story’ about her/himself. I’ve fallen into that trap! ]]

    I liked your response to one of the comments you received:

    your response:

    “ Brian Mayo (12/4/2015 11: 18: 00 PM)
    Saving Private Ryan?
    Thanks for the nice comments.
    I chose a poppy only because I recently had discovered one in my weed infested garden, had no idea wghere it came from, and thought it was cool. It looked like a purple, coconut flaked snowball”

    [minus five points for the “wghere” typo]

    did you actually give the poem’s poppy a color designation? ? let me see. NO; I thought not!

    a bit spooky (the poem) . just a bit from this side. is there really a gun? and what’s with the grain falling? ?
    as poetry, I guess this will have its fans. but you might not make it as a news reporter. well, maybe you would, on second thought!

    I’m glad this is “Free Verse”, as I wouldn’t give ya but two bits for it. hee-hee.

    and does the torrent wash the soil off of your shallow grave, dear sir? ? ?

    bri :)
    (Report) Reply

    Brian Mayo (12/16/2015 9:06:00 AM)

    BREAKING NEWS; THIS JUST IN:
    Man Actually Believes Poet's Mother Was A Possum
    Story At 11: 00
    Yes, there was really a gun... in my imagination... when I wrote the poem.
    Save your two bits for a shave and a haircut.
    Grain- -both hourglass and gunpowder.
    Isn't that what was called to mind?
    The torrent can do whatever you wish it to do.
    Maybe it's a flood of emotion...
    Maybe it's where the stream narrows...
    Maybe it's where I took a leak.
    Har Har

  • Pithy Marvel (12/5/2015 11:04:00 AM)


    and the daisies shout out
    hey, where did that poppy come from?


    lovely verses,
    they'd make Atlas Shrug!
    (Report) Reply

  • Amitava Sur (11/30/2015 7:36:00 PM)


    A very thought provoking write

    Look for me after the rain
    where the dirt road ends .... very nice
    (Report) Reply

  • Simone Inez Harriman (11/29/2015 1:47:00 PM)


    WOW...stunning write. Although the red poppy has become a symbol of war remembrance the world over.. in New Zealand it is most commonly seen around Anzac Day,25 April. So this poem is very symbolic and special to me. Thank you....10 (Report) Reply

    Brian Mayo (12/4/2015 11:23:00 PM)

    Always nice to hear from you. Your appreciation of my poem makes me happy.

  • Pamela Sinicrope (11/29/2015 7:35:00 AM)


    So I really loved this write... It's like nothing I've ever read before! I've read it multiple times and I catch my breath each time. The poem, written from the point of view of the man about to be shot reminds me of a scene from a WWII movie where two men engage in a sword fight and only one comes out alive... It was a sickeningly violent yet quiet and intimate scene... Kind of like this short seemingly unassuming poem. The figurative language here is really beautiful and descriptive... For such an ugly theme....'like skipping stones by moonlight'. The way he hears the gun and the bullet... WOW! The final lines really got me too... The wild red poppy pushing through... What does that mean? Red for blood and death... But why the poppy? I looked up poppies to see what their symbolic importance is..but I'm but in curious on your take. GREAT poem! (Report) Reply

    Brian Mayo (12/4/2015 11:18:00 PM)

    Saving Private Ryan?
    Thanks for the nice comments.
    I chose a poppy only because I recently had discovered one in my weed infested garden, had no idea wghere it came from, and thought it was cool. It looked like a purple, coconut flaked snowball.

  • Kelly Kurt (11/23/2015 11:17:00 AM)


    Poignant, well written and moving. Thanks, Brian (Report) Reply

    Brian Mayo (12/4/2015 11:25:00 PM)

    Right back at ya, Kel.

  • Rahman Henry (11/23/2015 10:45:00 AM)


    Extraordinary poem. Brilliantly illustrated. I love this poem........10+++++++ (Report) Reply

    Brian Mayo (12/4/2015 11:24:00 PM)

    Thanks, Henry.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, November 23, 2015



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