the wee quail

Hey, friends!

Staying true to last week’s poetry theme of “layers,” I present you with another new poem that might be interpreted in different layers.

[See last week’s post for further details]

While I would love to claim some preternatural poetic brilliance, this layering really came through in several of my screening audiences’ feedback.

Some people loved the poem in the literal layer of a quail protecting her eggs from an eagle. Awesome. I am sure Orwell’s Animal Farm could be read that way, too.

Suffice to say there were several other layers those early readers perceived, all of which were so amazing to me. I won’t tell any further details, as I really want to hear your feedback, your thoughts, and your perceptions in the Comments Section below.

And for those of you who regularly read my poems, perhaps there are some mythology allusions and breadcrumbs layered in here, too. πŸ˜‰

I look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy.

-PS Conway ☘ ☘ ☘

☘ ☘ ☘ ☘ ☘

“the wee quail”

the wee quail cowers in the night

on an island midst the fen,

sheltered in tall grasses, starlight

casts its piebald pallor β€˜cross the hen

she trembles on her nest, full of fret

for her unborn chicks, half in light,

half in shadow, lest she forget

the need to shelter out of sight

for the eagle yet in pursuit

circles on high in the sky black

with ill intent, a numinous brute

bent to murder, despoil, attack

her sanctuary, spotted eggs

his desire, especially one

hued like an azure sky, she begs

soft mercies from the pantheon

to exempt her precious daughter

from sure death, and like that, the blue

egg rolls into darkness, slaughter

avoided, the wee quail sighs true

raises her eyes to the heavens

and marvels as the stars begin

to fall.


  1. Oh, Patrick, this goes right to my heart when my husband and I were raising our four boys worrying about what would become of them, who would be mean, who would bully them. What would life hold for them in the future, and how could I protect them? And then when my youngest was fighting for his life in the hospital, praying that he would survive. Now I worry about when I am gone and what will happen to them all, who will protect them. The instinct to sacrifice one’s self is strong in parents.
    The same could be said for the state of our world.

    1. Wendy!!! Omg this comment is so beautiful. Thank you SO much for sharing your story so candidly. I understand your feelings completely. My youngest daughter ate one pistachio at a musical rehearsal when she was 12 years old. I never understood the danger of allergies until I was holding her unconscious gray body in my arms en route to the hospital. Thankfully, modern medicine brought her back, but every waking thought since is β€œwho will protect her when I am gone?” 🌹🍷πŸ˜ͺπŸ™

  2. Perhqps you are alluding to the myth of Rhea who protected her youngest son Zeus from her husband Kronos, who was warned he would be dethroned by one of his children. She hid Zeus and instead gave Kronos a stone to swallow in his place. Am I getting warm?

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