Tag Archives: poem

Poem: Thoughts and Prayers by Michelle Garren Flye

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Thoughts and Prayers

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

I prayed for you.

You were in need, so I prayed.

I didn’t speak up.

I didn’t help.

Is it my fault He didn’t answer?

It can’t be; I prayed.

 

I thought about you.

I knew what was happening,

And I didn’t take action…

Or responsibility…

It’s not my problem, it’s yours!

So thoughts are enough.

 

The pain is outside.

I see it through my window,

But I don’t open it!

I pray and I think.

If I open my window or, God forbid, my door!—

The pain may come in.

 

And then I’ll know.

My friends may pray.

They may think all day.

A Nation may send me thoughts and prayers—

And I’ll watch them float by—

Dandelion fluff on the wind.

dandelion nature sunlight

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Poetry-gate and what it means for writers

I have been taken to task—and found wanting.

No kidding, friends. We are never finished learning, are we?

I will not and do not apologize for my last post. I still support Anders Carlson-Wee’s right to write what he feels. And if he can get it published, more power to him. I do not believe that the poem he wrote was in any way intended to be disrespectful to another culture. I believe it was written for those of us who enjoy white privilege and good health and plenty to eat.

However, I now see the problem. It was written by a white guy in good health with plenty to eat.

Before you say, “But Mark Twain!” (as I did), look at it this way. There are plenty of black writers out there now. The Nation did not publish them. During Twain’s time, very few black people had the ability and voice to protest their lot in life. So it fell to Twain and others like him to do so for them.

We’re at a pivotal point in literature. Every culture has writers. Excellent writers. Talented poets. And then there are people like me. I’m a little white girl from the South who refuses to write exclusively about little white Southern girls. I mean, what kind of romance would that make—okay, yeah. And not that there’s anything wrong with that (wink, wink), but I prefer a little diversity.

So, I’m working hard to incorporate diversity into my writing, even if my writing is “just” romance. I’ve written about the Cherokee nation, had a Greek-American heroine in a novel and a Greek hero in a short story. I’ve had supporting characters of different races and sexual orientations. And I didn’t even start out intending to make these things happen. They grew naturally from ideas whispered to me by my muse.

We need to be careful as writers not to make it taboo to write about a different culture from the one we were born into. It is our job to introduce new ideas and concepts to our readers, whether it’s in literary fiction or romance or a travel article. As a little Southern white girl, I’m going to do my best to keep expanding my cultural knowledge and hoping more of it leaks into my writing—and once it’s there, I’ll do my best to make sure it’s both sensitive and appropriate.

As a writer, that’s my job.

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Poem: The Ice Cream Truck

architecture auto automobiles bridge

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The Ice Cream Truck

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

Don’t say goodbye yet.

Just wait. It’s not time to go.

The ice cream truck will be here soon enough.

See—you can hear the music.

I know your mouth is dry and you’re hungry—

I know the music is still far away,

But I can give you water while we wait.

We can watch the cars together.

Maybe there’s a fancy one.

They streak by in multicolored glory.

You almost forget the ice cream truck if you watch.

You almost forget you’re waiting.

But wait. Don’t leave.

I hear the music now.

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Poem: Why Can’t You See the Dark?

Why Can’t You See the Dark?

By Michelle Garren Flye

 
Why can’t you see the dark?

It creeps up on you

Concealing all that is bright—

Why don’t you see it?

 

Please see the dark.

Shadows fall and evening rises—

The sun is gone, leaving…nothing.

Please see it.

 

You’re blind to loss.

You don’t miss what’s gone,

The light you let go.

You are blind in the darkness.

 

You could still fight it.

The dark can’t take everything.

Maybe if you reach out

You’ll find the light again.

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Poem: Alternative Anthem

united states of america flag

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Alternative Anthem

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

Oh say, can’t you see

In the day’s last blue light

That our country has bailed

And the darkness is looming?

 

What good are stripes and little stars

When we don’t do what’s right?

And our laws are all botched,

By our government’s scheming?

 

And the lies that we’re told

Well, they’re really getting old!

And there’s proof of what’s right

But we must stand up bold.

 

Oh say, can’t you help me raise a flag we can praise—

O’er a land of truly free and a home to all the brave?

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For Santa Fe High School…and all the others we’ve failed since Columbine

As a parent of teenagers, my heart breaks at these high school shootings and the texts exchanged between parents and children during them. In a way, this is found poetry, based on actual text messages, though I changed the wording so it could be between one parent and child. Please, please, when November comes, think about how long it will be before you are the one who receives that first text followed by the next desperate If-I-die one.
A Last Tenuous Connection
By Michelle Garren Flye
Someone shooting in the school.
I love you.
I’m coming.
Don’t. We’re on lockdown. You might get hurt.
My teacher is dead.
OMG. Stay quiet. Stay safe. On my way.
If I don’t make it, I love you and thank you for everything.
Don’t talk like that.
I’m so scared.
I know you are. I’m almost there.
No matter what I love you.
I love you too.
I’m here. Where are you?

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Poem: Standard Haiku

I never really claim to be a poet, but I like writing poetry. I love haiku. Its beauty is in its simplicity. A rigid format that nonetheless lets you play within the boundaries.

 

Standard Haiku

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

We once held the Truth,

It squirmed away, leaving just

A bloody remnant.

 

Better than Justice,

Who left us what we didn’t

Use—her blinded eyes.

 

Oh, Morality!

What have you become? Twisted

Past recognition.

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