The sting of hot tears

pierces the jadedness

shielding my eyes

from the intricacies

of all these tragedies

as feeling 

finally bubbles over the edge 

of my heavy cup.

Too many people have died this year.

No explanation can encompass this wrongness.

There are no words for the depths of this despair.

But we will see millions on our screens:

to proliferate opinions,

manufacture complacency, 

ensure continuing consumption,

and rage against whilst perpetuating the machine.


I am weary of reasons.

Mind has ruled long enough.

Anything is justifiable,

twistable, edible,

ostensibly inevitable

when given the proper spin.

“No more ‘why’.”

calls this aching heart,

finally breathed into enough

for shock and disbelief

of humanity’s capacity for inhumanity

to melt into sadness.

Perhaps instead we grieve.

Grieve everything:

the lives of the victims, 

the lost genius of the perpetrators

twisted by the insanity

of the ones who pay for guns

to wreak the havoc on the world

they will not look at in themselves;

grieve the viscous dystopia we find ourselves in

powered by the fear that hides 

under every act of hatred.


And when enough tears have fallen, 

like lava rising from the unrestable depths

to slowly and steadily transmute everything in its wake,

the heat of feeling beyond reasoning 

will burn through our comfortable numbness.

Maybe we can start 

to put our words

and our money 

and our actions

where our hearts live.

And “why” will become the rallying cry 

of hands planting seeds

of love made visible through lives indivisible,

and the memory that tears can also be of joy.


{Listen to this poem here}

Sometimes it’s a joke both of you know is not really funny

but in that moment you laugh richly, 

and for a hair’s breadth 

the pain subsides.

Clarity rushes in,

and you can open your tear-filmed eyes

and blood-thump muffled ears 

a little wider,

to receive the next instructing,

the next diagnostic prodding.

It’s the sincere warning that it will hurt, a lot,

and she is not sure if it will work,

but that she will do her best.

Or that she takes the time to ask how to pronounce your name, 

even if you are one of a dozen people she will see that day,

and tells you how well you are doing,

through the panting breath and unintelligible moaning.


It’s the realization of the preciousness of true connective presence

when most people walk by you on the sidewalk

with the speed you knew just a few days ago,

but now seems like a dream clouded over with sharp despair;

the few who offer help,

who give even a sympathetic gaze,

who say with words or eyes 

“I see that you are suffering now, and I wish you well,”

remind you that there is still humanity

in humans.

That we’ve all been here, 

in some way or other.

And to be humbled is to open

to a deeper level of compassion.


It is easy to forget the definition of care

in a world where nearly everyone is stuck in survival mode.

Seemingly unavoidable to let selfishness build wall after wall around our hearts’ homes,

until all we ever see are each other’s backs,

or the ubiquitous resting bitch face that cannot register

recognition of another soul,

because the facade is so disconnected from the center. 


I want to live in a world where we care about each other.

Where we show that care as if our lives depend on it.

Because it does, it does.

And a moment in a care center 

helps me remember

that people can do just that, not only as a function,

but as a gift.

Please reload

© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry