The Crow on the No Dumping Sign – Poetry by Mark Tulin

The Tuscan Road – Amedeo Modigliani

Sorry, mom
I won’t spill your ashes on your favorite
desert today,
can’t say a prayer on federal land,
intruders prohibited on public property
There’s no trespassing
even for a feral spirit

The crows know more than we do,
coyotes sing howling folksongs
and the wind swirls an orange light
The snake bites the jackrabbit
who’s lost in the moonless night

Unless you want your son
prosecuted and fined,
you better heed the No Dumping sign,
and stay huddled in your box of char,
where your soul shall remain unscattered.

About the Poet

Mark Tulin is a retired therapist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mark authored Magical Yogis, Awkward Grace, The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories, Junkyard Souls, Rain on Cabrillo. He’s featured in The Opiate, Still Point Journal, The Mindful Word, The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, White Enso. He is a Pushcart nominee and a Best of Drabble. Visit Mark at

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

3 thoughts

  1. We live in times when people of conscience will have to do things that make them liable to being prosecuted and fined. Like Antigone who defied her father to give her brother funeral rites so that his soul could enter the underworld. Your poem evokes the dilemma of all who want to do the right thing by their mother, the Earth.

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