Poetry is dead. Long live the poems.
Does the poet still bears the burden of dissent,
of finding new words for a retro revolution,
when there are none left?
Let the seas rise, the cities fall. Let the snow melt.
Let the last of the evil fly one-winged, out of that box.
Let the chasms widen until
there are no more rivers to run through them.
Let people be divided over and over and over again
till they fit in tiny spreadsheet cells.
Let me be gathered as a data point by a factory of
algorithms that build a bubble around me.
Wasn’t it the scriptures that said that the world is just
perception. (And that was before Facebook.)
What do you want to resist most, today?
What outrage fills your coffee cup this morning?
How many odd tweets does it take to draw an even breath.
Because I have no poem for you to declaim.
No verse for you to hang your mask on.
No couplet. (What rhymes with orange or against?)
Go stand upon your upturned crate and say to the
three-and-a-half people around you that
poetry is long dead. Gone.
Now kneel for a minute in silence.

Once more around the sun

once more around the sun
this earth that marks neither
beginning nor end —

while, we, crossing an
artificial border of time,
raise fists and voices —

to save the earth from
us, to save us from
ourselves —

strange, this word, movement
its only option, returning to
where it began —

this word without time, without
place, this word without choices, this
world without choices: revolution

a fist that wraps a fist,
a voice that echoes a voice: revolution,
once more around the sun —


For the year that ended, for the year that has begun, for revolutions that have ended, for revolutions that have just begun. And for Earth Weal – Brendan’s brand new portal for “The poetry of a changing earth”. Be sure to check it out and participate. Have a wonderful new year, poets and readers. May the new year bring a lot more poetry to our lives.


The butterfly is strapping on a bullet-proof
vest. The trees are scraping stars off the
sky. The sun is in peril from the wounds it
baked into the earth. The sea is being
sucked into rivers and back into clouds.
There will be upheaval. When you have
been stretched as far as you can allow, the

ricochet will not be subtle. Recoil gathers
the mutant seeds of anarchy. Viva la
revolución. When the time comes, all that
will be left is a question waiting between
you and your mirror. Resurrection is not
just faith, is it? Look behind you, the
universe is undressing slowly in your bed.
How will you prove your love tonight?



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They Said

they said,
as pitiless hands tossed the tattered veil
of innocence
into the growing pile of cries,
of prayers,
it would be a waste to burn them,
they said,
the stench of decay would be a reminder,
an atrophying monument to anarchy,
the gyrations of bravado, of revolution,
bleeding into the gutter,
truth once clothed in holy vestments,
now soiled by failure,
its last hurrah
not even worth the absolution of fire,

they said.

For the word list prompt at Real Toads

The Trouble with Tanka-10

the revolving door spins-
in a crackle of leaves and stars,
autumn departs,
the ghost of winter bleeds the sky white,
even memories refuse to walk in this storm


its golden eyes darken
a white scarf tightens around its neck
autumn screams-
its soundless voice freezing in the icy wind
just yesterday leaves were falling in russet rhyme


I must go
to that place within me
a return pilgrimage
stripped of thought, unchained from the world,
bloody, screaming, the way I came

Fujiwara no Teika’s Tanka Technique 10: Demon-quelling – onihishigitei or kiratsu no tei – includes strong or even vulgar diction but these elements are treated with sensibility and gentleness.
A wonderful month of Tanka prompts concludes at CDHK. My posts can be found here: The Trouble with Tanka 1-10