Category Archives: Free Verse

What Is Your Shield

What is your shield when your world overturns?
Is it the pulsing energy of a crowd?
Beating thoughts back with drums and lights
Is it the muffling weight of a closed door?
Burying fears with books and stories
Is it the driving whip of frenzied work?
Blotting it out by crowding minutes
Is it the rhythms of a formal prayer?
Barricading with symbol and sermon
Is it the thrilling spike of vital risk?
Bolting, diving, or vaulting away
Is it the warmth of a loving hug?
Blanketing all with comforting care
What is your shield, your shelter, your escape?
How do you survive the strikes of fate?


Assembled in Bits and Blocks

Assembled in bits and blocks –
Built and rebuilt and built again
As moments inspire, and years destroy.
Shaped by souls, study, and society
From overarching shape to enfolding voids:
A life’s achievement and frame, as well,
Completed without plan or oversight.


A Dozen, a Multitude, a Score

A dozen, a multitude, a score –
The paths stretch forward, back, beyond.
First steps so clear, so precise.
Too quickly, the paths turn and twist:
The steps fade, blur, and obscure,
Leaving the path’s distant end
In dark, unsettled uncertainty.


It Traps

Gray matter emblazoned with patterns and paths,
Taught, learned, innate, and in-between.
Like a spymaster, it traps information
And sends it through those labarynthian paths,
Never seeing the walls of its own creation.


All-encompassing Rage

All-encompassing rage
Bursts forth like fireworks:
Fast, percussive, and screaming.
Constrained in a cage
Of forced civility –
All internal
But for wisps
Of escaping smoke.


The Voices of Pain

“Don’t give up!”
One cries to others,
For it too well remembers
How a light so snuffed
Shatters and sunders
Those left behind.

“Make it stop!”
Another screams silently,
For it too strongly feels
How a life subtly skewed
Shackles and slices
Those bleeding inside.

“Leave me alone!”
Whimpers the one
That too deeply knows
How powers held singly
Falter and fragment
When faced only outward.

“Be with me!”
Begs yet another
That too clearly sees
How days left but not lived
Frighten and fracture
When paced ever onward.

From whimpers to curses
And whispers to screams,
They overwhelm and overflow
Mind, soul, and senses:
A cacophony of can’ts
An onslaught of shoulds.

From crescendos to solos
And all in between
The chorus continues:
To all but their target,
Unheard and unseen.


An Erratic Hailstorm

Questions like razors.
Events like buckshot.
Life as a minefield
In an erratic hailstorm:
Duck, cover, patch, piece,
And bleed.


What Will You Add?

In the void of this world,
The vast and fertile net,
What will you add?

Add breath to the flames
And fan them higher?
Raise the anger.
Affirm the scorn.
Feed the fear.
Indiscriminate
Of who or what
Is torched and
Left for ashes?

In the raging mob of opinion,
The dire and crushing press,
What will you add?

Add force to the flow
And move it forward?
Lift the torch.
Judge the target.
Toss the rope.
Unconcerned
If truth or law
Are dashed and
Turned to dust?

On this pedestal and soapbox,
The conduit of chaos,
What will you add?

Add weight to the apathy
Of violent division?
Share the post.
Like the meme.
Fuel the agenda.
Heedless
Of who or what
Is cast as villain only,
Remade with partial truths?

In this world of flying insults
Of sides and enemies,
Of pride and inflated ego,
Of all-wrong and all-right,
Of lies and misleading truths,
Of intense and unreasoning
Anger, hate, and fear,
What will you add?


In Frozen Turmoil

Shift after shift,
The fields change.
Moment by moment.
Past and future
Merge then diverge.
A sturdy compass,
Once true,
Now argues with stars.
Now agrees
As real shifts.
Do stars lie
Or merely hide?

The ship’s rudder twists
And turns and bends
From side to side
And path to path,
Loosed from the wheel.
Freed to the fates.
The currents pull.
The winds push.
Fore, aft –
Nowhere.

The ship flounders,
Its path uncharted
As lies and right
And truths and wrong
Battle and dance –
Stirring the storm
And casting the ship
Forward, back, and beyond
In frozen turmoil.


Rain’s Viscosity Demonstration

A liquid full of solids.
Rain’s viscosity demonstration.
Full of slippery steps,
Strange noises, worms,
Dirty floors, and extra work
For the washing machine


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