The Wingman

The Wingman

A Poem by Mark

--a term known to all families of pilots; the comrade who flies slightly below and behind you, protecting you form unseen harm--




The ebon jackdaw flew down and sat

Upon a sign, atop a tree

Whereon was writ, in languages three

“Of Jews, I Am The KING”; just that.


Feathers not preening, head looked not ‘round,

Its caws and cackles quite o’erthrown

By guttural gasp and gentle moan,

By the blood dripping onto the ground.


The scoffers rude at His feet stood,

While beyond His comrades wept,


Then with final groan these words escaped:

“It is finished,” then He slept.


‘pon hearing that, the ‘daw took His wing,

As Jesus’ spirit skyward leapt…


Mark Teague

© 2011 Mark

Author's Note

This had been posted a week before I realized that NOT everyone might even be familiar with the term "wingman". In fighter pilot parlance, he is the comrade who flies slightly behind and below you. We've all heard "Got your six", and "twelve o'clock high"; these are pilot jargon as well--imagine your nose as the noon position of a clock's face, and your wingman will be at your "four" or your "eight".
A second symbolism that no one has yet mentioned was the use of the jackdaw, a member of the blackbird family. The blackbird and all his kin are widely used throughout the world's religions as harbingers of death.

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I thought this was a very good poem. I like the symbolism and the very neat format. Thank you.

Posted 3 Years Ago

If you have not already discovered her writing, Mark, I think you would love my cousin Mary's work... she explores a lot of themes related to Biblical events, from the perspective of the everyday.

Yes, I caught the jackdaw reference. Some mythologies see them as harbingers of death, as you mention here. Native cultures tended to see them as intermediaries, that helped a transition from one world into another. Perspective can be everything. Some of us already knew about immortality, others needed that reminder. The further one moves form spirituality towards doctrine, I find there is more fear of that final crossing.

Lots to ponder, here, as always in your work.

You can find Mary on my top 10 friends list.

Posted 4 Years Ago

I like this much, I had not heard the term "jackdaw" or if I had did not remember.
I like the "wingman" thought; very powerful.

Posted 5 Years Ago


4 Years Ago

Thank you, Connie. I rarely write to specific holidays, particularly those of a religious bent), but.. read more
Good work, I like the way you include your own experience with a religious background, like the word ebon jackdaw and the way you employ a more relaxed, story-telling style in the last verse, with `pon and `daw, speeds up the last images. Good work.

Posted 5 Years Ago

Dear Mark,

Nicely done, My Friend. Excellent choice of words and turn of phrase. Wonderful opening stanza that sets the stage for the entire poem.

Best regards,


Posted 5 Years Ago

Mark, this poem is as powerful today as the first time I read it. With Easter at hand I was glad to see this poem filter back through!

Posted 5 Years Ago

This was an awesome write Mark and with Easter and Passover around the corner, quite appropriate. I loved your use of language and your not so subtle "subtleties" and play on words. I might have left it a little more to our imagination by omitting the word "Jesus" (i suppose "He" is more than just a word) and replacing it with the word "wingman" or even "His". I'm glad you explained jackdaw (saved me from looking it up). The message is received loud and clear.

Posted 5 Years Ago

An outstanding piece that borders on eerie. It's more than an image you paint, it' a feeling as well for those familiar with his death and the scene. Your use of diction reminiscent of old scripture sets the mood so well.

A splendid effort.

Posted 5 Years Ago

Wow, you words were absolutely breathtaking here and heartfelt, I loved your amazing word choices and your metaphors are totally brilliant, your words flowed amazingly, I love most when a poem can draw me into its words as yours surly have, and I am pleased I stumbled on to this gem, thanks so much for sharing and much applause here, xoxo

Posted 6 Years Ago

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32 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on February 7, 2011
Last Updated on February 16, 2011
Tags: 'daw, jackdaw, wing, wingman



Las Vegas, NV

Writing, for me, has always been the friend who brought out the best in me, and who would never argue with me, except when necessary to point out my many obvious inconsistancies. Writing and.. more..

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