Image by CWMartin 2010

isolated fears
the edge of hope
holding back
like a dam
ready to burst
but no one
the roar
of desperation
flowing rapidly
outside their doors
too busy
talking about
how their
prayers go
so they drown
in their own misery
while waiting
for what
has come
and gone


with every breath
you take
world suffering
fills your being
there is
no hiding place
the shots fired
piercing the flesh
of your love one
hot molten misery
into your veins
even behind
your locked doors
of indifference
came from the hand
of human suffering
there is
no hiding place
though you divert
your eyes
from the tortured souls
that spot your city’s streets
you cannot sweep away
their image in your mind
that fosters the fear
that keeps your
doors locked and barred
making every sound
in the night
reverberate loudly
causing you to sweat
and toss from side to side
inside your sheltered enclave
of denial
there is
no hiding place
like the quaking of the earth
human suffering cannot be ignored
it moves the very foundation
of every world community
its frigid winds
swirl into your life
finding you
as easily
as death

Point-Counter Point Challenge:  For those of you have been following the challenges between Jade and I, you are aware that several challenges have taken place over the course of the last few months.  This time, the challenge was to be initiated by me and I decided to change the rules a little…well a lot.  Here’s how it works this time.  Each poet provides the other poet with  five quotations that must be addressed from the opposite point of view as the original quote. Here is the fourth quote that Jade provided to me:  “You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.” – Franz Kafka

deimos inn…

Final Challenge Image from Jade


with the lights on
there is nothing to fear
this is just another hotel room
a place for
an itinerate soul to visit
everything seems in place
when the lights are off
this place becomes a prison
nothing is where it’s supposed to be
the floor
is quicksand beneath my feet
the door has bars of anger
holding back my freedom
my thoughts rattle
around the room
seeking a familiar corner
the air is foul
stale with formality
my misery
has no place to hide
it cannot find
a warm spot to rest
so it paces
back and forth
in my mind
refusing to rest
until the dawn
when i release it outside
where it can run away from me
and swing in the trees
with childish expectations
but it is hours
before dawn
so i sit alone
with the lights

This poem represents my last response to  the second challenge series between Jade and I.  As you may recall, each poet provides the other with a series of photos, visual prompts,  from which the poet is to write a poem.  Jade has written her response which can be found here

i’m taking requests so…

what instrument shall I play for you
shall it be a magic flute
with melodic tones
that drift you into an even deeper sleep
where you can claim
this to be
the best of all possible worlds
or shall i play a song
that stirs your soul
a march
that will let you see
the world around you
where slavery still exists
and hate burns deep
into the souls of men
like the searing heat
of a branding iron
or shall i play
a clever little melody
with notes to let you see
a child’s badly bruised face
from a loving parent
or the makeup covered scars
of your neighbor’s adorable wife
or perhaps you would prefer
some blues
to help you see
the deep stench of misery
of a ragged homeless person
or a flag caressing a parent’s coffin 
while small hands are left behind
whatever you choose
please tell me the key
so as to unlock
the heart within you

speed trap…

wouldn’t it be something
if cops could give you a warning ticket
for being stupid in life
if you fell in love
with the wrong person
they’d pull you over on a date
and say
excuse me…but this person
is just using you
until they find someone else
with more
money, sex appeal, fame
or whatever
they’re going to dump you
so you’re being cited for failing to stop
at one of life’s many misery signs
or they’d pull you over and say
i’m sorry
but i have to cite you for speeding
speeding through your child’s youth
ignoring precious moments
for personal gain
and believing that work is more important
than anything
or they’d give you a ticket for failing to yield
saying to you in a deep voice
but you failed to yield when you knew
you were dead wrong
but  out of pride
you continue to profess
your justification for actions
or they’d say
didn’t you notice the warning sign
about the end of the road over there
are you feeling any chest pains
shortness of breath as i give you this ticket
please recall
he says
when you collect enough points
your license