The Cock and the Crow        

by Michael Reiss             


Loom blow South, William, South

And you smell the sweet leaves smoking

As part of the weave, yon foil

It’as a black crow that day, that autumnal eve

Fortnight’s quest to heave ashore

Where was ya?

(Ahead)       (Over here…)

A bonfire of sweetness, flames lickin’, faster through the village

And you have seen, fair gentleman

William.  Will.  William.

And you will know, in the bones, in the very marrow


… something spoken in murmur…

Yorg!, the great god of vision, sight

Lord of the Underworld

Sage of the limbo

Priest of the skies’ lights

He will let the ones in, on summer bright, a night of

sparks, quickened

He will flow all over, rounded, faster and  faster

Come in all you, all of you

‘Tis a bonfire’s quest, a sweet smoke

Yah, heft on squonce, faith yule

It’s in the smoke’s runes, trails

Non a fallacious time of night

O’er witches’ delights, un’ trees’ roots

Soil, the soil

Roots!  Away!  Of yon trees’ deceptions

Moored in heft, light duty, wake of gold

One more time, laddies!

Heave!  (Ho)  Heave!  (Ho)


Out into the arboreal jungle, a wake

Fast as golden laced merc

~a swallow returning, scouting~

Love’s last child, a miracle

Minutes to dawn, amber

Lacrimonious fasting, over dales

Dunes, somewhere, somewhere!

Nights to the eye

Hain!  (Swo)  Hain!

Swarthy barkeep lifts the lantern

A woodsman keeps watch

And onto the keep, a maiden

Lovely lass, mercurial and alabaster

A safe distance to go, golden rods

(ships coming closer)

And the first lad chaps onward


Come back; capture fancy…


Onions!  Barrels of onions roll out in a baritone thwump and tumble

The barkeep’s delighted by’m

Woodsman keeps pace

Sharp crack of stick in woods

Eyes darting precious glances, breath pauses

Steep sallow of organ-gnoss

Leave the shore, travel by land

Once known, ’tis twice precious

Gold?  Golllld…

An endless quest, even in a foundry

A winslow, a fairy, laced

Up on William’s squatting cornice, the eaves

Ribbed with barnacle wood designs

A loud clamor under the old cabin

All together now,


A gang restored,


And once is timed again



Back to Azaza.



Michael Reiss has been writing for 30 years and has also worked in the film industry.  He lives in Rochester, works at the Central Library and does DJ work at WAYO.