I’ve lost my soul

and I’m out here wandering,

dying for water,

it’s all contaminated

in this vacuous wasteland.


Tanka Tuesday challenge Ghost/Hollow

Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 106, “Ghost & Hollow,” #SynonymsOnly


Posted in poem, Poetry, tanka, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Deafening Silence

Is it still considered poetry

if you don’t have a degree

and you can’t see a reason

to edit

even if you know

it could use a fine-tooth



what if I say pace here

or paz

but know it might sound better

with salaam

or shalom?

After the pen leaves the paper

I don’t have an eraser

and it feels like I’m cheating

on my soul

if I start to slash x marks

through my chicken scratches,

and after the egg hatches

it’s a chicken

there’s no going back

I can’t turn it into a duck

it was destined to be a chicken

and it’s never going to be a goose

or an ostrich

or an emu,

or a quail

or a pheasant,

it’s a chicken.

It’s like a present from somewhere

deep in my subconscious

and it would be unconscionable

to kill the chicken

if that is in fact what it is

same if it’s a duck

or a quail

or an emu

or an ostrich

or a goose

or even a turtle

or a crocodile.

If you have to edit

in order to be a real poet

well, shit

I guess I’m just a crazy guy

trying to stay sane enough to get by

by writing things down on paper

to try making sense

of such senseless violence

and trying to understand

all the deafening silence…

and maybe I can’t edit out

one single word

because they all represent

the voices never heard,

and these words are stand-ins

for the words of the real poets of the world

who were slaughtered

by weapons engineered

by young men and women

educated at the very same universities

from which you got your MFA.

Do you really have nothing to say?




Posted in poem, Poetry, poetry for peace, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tired, Hungry, & Poor

We all care way too much

about flattering the crown

though we’re shattering humanity

as we do it

holding it down

but it’s way more than ‘ah, screw it’

we’re all chiseled slogans now

we’ve long been ‘just do it’

but we know not what we do

and we think that we ‘think different’

but I’m the same as you

just different shades and hues

and we buy pink

and we buy blue

and if we only knew…

but there’s no time for knowing

there’s too much work to do

what, with this 7-to-5 including the drive

no time to strive for anything more

no time to think about prisons

and addiction and healthcare

and refugees and war

just stuck here,

tired, hungry, & poor

does this really count

as being alive

stuck on auto-pilot

in overdrive

day after day after day after day

as we pray and we pray and we pray and we pray

that things will change

but I think it’s strange

that with billions of prayers

nothing has changed

so either someone’s not listening

or they just don’t care

or maybe they’re just not there

and maybe we’re all just unaware

that we have more power

than we think…

so put down the drink

for a minute

and look up

at the end-zone

there’s time still

to win it

coach or no coach

let’s call an audible,

try a different approach

first we have to broach

the subject

and embrace ways of old

start worshiping water

and forget about gold

let’s get off the assembly line,

break from the mold

and get back to the garden,

fuck what we’re told.


Posted in Uncategorized, Poetry, poem | Tagged ,

Reasonable Doubt

Here in the land of the free

we incentivize

and wonder why

so many police officers patrol our streets

always ready to meet and greet

an enemy,

leaving behind Baghdad for Baltimore

but they were well trained for ‘war’

and what we see is what we paid for

and we pay for more and more

and more and war keeps coming home

with MRAPs and drones

and gi Janes and Joes

used to aiming at brown faces

in civilian clothes

and cellphone videos don’t matter

department budgets still get fatter

with special ops and swat

and this is not Afghanistan (but even then)

it was just some teenager that ran

a red light

but you’re about to make his a silent night

and they’ll all still salute this brave white knight

who ended the fight before it began,

‘He’s got a gun’ no wait, he’s just a black man…

too late, can’t turn back, man

more like Pacman chasing ghosts

still raising toasts, though

at the VFW

‘Hand over the cellphone, son

I don’t want to trouble you

but after what I’ve been through

lucky I’m alive

been through


fuck you

you don’t know…

I got my preference


I got my badge

I got my gun

and I’m ready to go

ready to show America

what she’s been paying for

ready to show America

that for a soldier

every day is war

and this is just my latest tour

and they’re all brown

and black

and poor

and we are well trained,

we are the cure…’


It’s a deadly exchange

leaving down range for down the block

that kid only had a sandwich,

not a Glock

but we went down the rabbit hole

we assessed the threat

and made mountains

while the mole

was on our face

all the while

and we smile

as our younger brother

teaches us a thing or two

like him now,

we’ve blurred the lines

of green and blue

and it’s shoot to kill now

no matter what it is

these ‘suspects’ do

but what happens

if they start aiming

at you

like they’ve been aiming at too

many people

who we don’t care

to think about

did we just give up thinking

we’re just too far

down this rabbit hole

to dig ourselves out?

and whatever happened to reason-

able doubt?

Must we settle

for this treasonable rout of justice

that is, if we still wish to pretend

that it exists?


Posted in Black Lives Matter, human rights, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,


We are all staring

as the old barn collapses,

there will be no rise


it will fade like leaves

as they fall down and decay,

this is all there is


there is no phoenix

only the ashes and dust,

and cities of rust


there’s no God to trust

as the harvest lays rotting.

The voiceless now sing


songs that were muted

about lives that were looted

since the beginning.


Autumn is here now

the fat sow is done eating

but the farmer’s drunk


and the butcher’s dead

only the pigs and their filth

remain, as snow falls.




RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #223 Rise&Fall

Posted in haiku, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Our God

Why do we wonder

how it is things got this bad

when they have long been


from the moment we

transformed ourselves into I

and auctioned off men


and began hoarding

wheat and grain, butter and bread

just stockpiling life


ignoring the dead

and the dying, all the ones

toiling in the fields


and loading the guns

and dying in foreign lands

to meet the demands


of our God, Wall Street

to whom we all learn to pray

and we all must play


by the rules of greed

it’s all about want, not need

the system plants seeds


early on, day one

pink or blue, come on buy one!

to celebrate life


you have to consume

and color within the lines

or there will be fines!


dry your tears and play

though some may say ‘run away’

just where will you go?


just who do you know

that loves you like Uncle Sam?

plus, he’s a lion


why side with the lambs?

this world, it’s kill or be killed

and plus, it’s God’s will!


so swallow the pill

just relax now and sit down

God is on our side


if you don’t think so

just look around, do you think

God supports those guys?


Do you think God cares

when they die? God doesn’t cry

God adjusts his tie,


sits down at his desk

and demands the president

start another war


and build another

prison to deal with the poor

and another war


and another war

and another new prison

and another war


and another war

and there’s money in the ground

old growth trees be damned


and rivers be dammed

though all the fish are dying

there’s no use trying


to prevent progress

you better just dress right, dress

and help us oppress


the lambs we slaughter

enlist your sons and daughters

and help us pay for


yet another war

more tanks and guns and drones and

jets and bombs and death


yet another war

and you’re left with heroin

and meth and football


bread and circuses

after all that we’ve been through

out of mind, and view


we see no evil

and we can’t hear through the fear

and we say we want


a revolution

but we’re stuck in delusion,

here in collusion


whether we know it

or not, we chase the red dot

it’s better than yarn


it’s barn-burning, sing

about the rockets red glare

don’t ignore market-


share, buy Raytheon

buy Boeing, buy BAE

freedom isn’t free


buy another war

buy another prison and

buy another tour


for some poor farm kid

who wants to live like Jesus

did, lay down their life


for their fellow man

but we’ve been killing Jesus

for seventeen years


in Afghanistan

though, in the name of the God

in whom we all trust


stay the course, we must

and protect the bottom line,

and dig another


mine, yes the world’s ours

to milk for all that it’s worth

leave the rest in dearth


ashes to ashes

and of course this is unjust

but we should entrust


ourselves to this God

though it’s all just a facade

and we have long been


sharpening the ax

every year as we pay tax

and all the trees fall


to print more money

and things like this aren’t funny

but you have to laugh


when you buy the jokes

and when you but the bullets

that are killing folks


you just have to laugh

because this is pure madness

we must be insane,


feigning ignorance,

but this isn’t happenstance

this has been well planned


supply demands war,

and the rich demand the poor

exist, but barely


clinging to ‘freedom

isn’t free’, longing to be

on top looking down


we’re trained not to see

all the inequality

we’re trained not to see


people, black and brown

beaten down, and shot and killed

in city and town


it must be God willed

we think, and we drink, and drink

and we pay taxes


and we blink our eyes

and accept the age-old lie

‘it is what it is’

Posted in america, american dream, haiku, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Life & Death: An Ode To Water


It’s finding a spring

just when you’re dying of thirst,

hope amidst despair


though it’s a false hope

just as you’re quenching your thirst

you taste the poison


you lay by the spring

hoping for an antidote,

but things are hopeless.


Your thirst is quenched now

but you struggle to hold on

as life slips away


and you breathe your last

hoping at least that you’ll serve

as a testament


that folks will see you

and they’ll see the spring and know

that you drank from here


they’ll know this water

brings not life, but death because,

greed has poisoned it.


They will thirst, like you

but they’ll see you and pass by

in search of water


water that brings life

clean, uncontaminated

the way that it was


because water is

life, water is life, water

is life. Greed is death.


We have turned water

into poison, into death

and now we all thirst.


We thirst now for life

but all we can find is death

all we know is death


and we are killing

ourselves to make a killing,

life comes bottled now


those who have taken

continue to take, and make

a killing from life


they keep taking life

and selling it back to us,

and we keep buying,


the price is our life

we think we don’t have a choice

that we have no voice


but until you die

from thirst or from the poison

you do have a voice


as well as a choice

and we all need to choose life

we all need to choose…


Posted in Dakota Access Pipeline, death, haiku, idle no more, life, oil, poem, Poetry, Standing Rock, sustainability, Uncategorized, water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,