Breath held, beyond strain,
swallowed by chryobursts of pluming purpled darkness.
Heartbeats pulsing,
beneath skin, drawn so taught
even the carrion crow can’t pick to the bone.

One blind second,
where the sun’s reflected rays all focused
on this illusion created,
all the glass tumbled down upon them
in a nightmarish daydream.
This moment of clarity,
where my bare feet bled for those
who had nothing,
and the crimson pool flowing from
shattered dreams bled onto the pavement.
Tribute poppies for he who passed by.

This is not justice,
redemption or holy in the name of any false god.

Somewhere behind the thudthud of blood pounding,
a child cries.
One of those shrieks of disbelief closing with a wail of disparity.

Frozen, still, helpless,
I hold her hand as the toll in her chest ends and she is free.

The pavement cracks
and nothing means a thing any more.


12 responses to “Black

  1. dang…moving…the cry of the child jumps out…that you are holding her hand as she dies…oy…and that it would bring freedom as well…the barefeet bled for those that have nothing is a great touch…perhaps walking a mile for them…so holow the end as well when all means nothing….

  2. This moment of clarity,
    where my bare feet bled for those
    who had nothing,
    and the crimson pool flowing from
    shattered dreams bled onto the pavement….oh heck this is a tight write..the senselessness of war…well penned shawn

  3. This is such an intense piece, Shân. Terrorism, killing innocents in the name of one’s religion, I never did get that. Precision descriptions used throughout cried for me to read and reread this several times. Pretty incredible image to go with it too. Well penned.

    • Thanks Ginny,

      it was a difficult write to get it that short but I wanted the power to be in the release at the end. Dante-inspired artwork…we are the makers of our own destruction xx

  4. This is heartbreakingly real, Shan. Holding the girl’s hand, the use of the word “toll” for a little girls heartbeat, yes, it is like a ringing bell, a promise of life to come. But this child didn’t have a chance. This is why I hate all war and go to protests whenever I can. Thank you for a very moving poem. Peace, Amy

  5. The intense imagry…”even carrion crow can’t ;pick the bone” ; “bare feet bleed”…”crimson pool flowing from shattered dreams” …a ninth circle of hell..with all its never ending pain and shocking slaughter of iinnocents. All stamped into lasting images of war, meaningless destruction and waste.x

    • War, and hate. It’s no good for anyone especially the kids. I was thinking of all the syrian kids on the street and it saddened me that through no fault of their own they are now out there homeless cold and hungy.

  6. I think you’ve really managed to capture a sense of the random nature of what is dealt to us in life and death. I feel the blood pusling and the powerlessness of some to shape their own fate – others with louder voices, quicker cries for their own justice, take free will for those ends. It’s a complex piece, but the feeling is clearly delivered. Very good to read you at work again Shan.

Put me out of my misery people!

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