Tag Archives: poem

“But”: A Poem for Independence

Happy birthday, America. You’re 241 years old. Congratulations.

You’re still an infant on the world stage. An infant with a very big gun, but an infant still.

Maybe that’s why we’ve allowed you to get to this state. Mass deportations, guns in every pocket, a tyrannical toddler in charge, squabbling lawmakers unwilling to compromise, and worst of all, your beautiful land pockmarked and disfigured, air polluted and waters spoiled by avarice.

But.

But you’re a lovely idea, a perfect ideal to work toward. We’ve only taken a moment to tend to our worst selves. We’ll get back to the job eventually. We’ll return to the original intent of our forefathers. I believe that.

And I love you.

“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” — James Baldwin

But

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

Lady Liberty holds a tablet and a torch—

The law of freedom, the light of hope.

 

But what does it mean when guns fill the street?

When drugs are offered but food is not?

Fear is the only law. There is no defense.

 

What happened to our freedom?

 

Some fight still for their most basic rights,

But the Bible of an intolerant God quashes them.

Your love is wrong. Your life is less.

 

Where is the light of hope?

 

It shines still, cutting a swath through darkness.

Land of plenty, home of brave, promises made—

 

But will they be honored?

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Fur Babies and Heartbreak

For those who don’t know, it’s been a rough couple weeks in my household while dealing with pets. My cat, who has been sick for roughly a month, tested positive for feline leukemia last week, even though she was negative as a kitten and is completely indoors. Well, she’s been on antibiotics and steroids and things are looking up for her, thankfully. However, we were dealt a horrible blow two days ago when my sweet, valiant little Freddy, who was spending time in the backyard with our other dog, was bitten by a copperhead. He died about three hours later. I have this horrible, haunting, heartbreaking feeling that I somehow, unwittingly, traded the life of one beloved pet for another. I’m grateful for my cat’s recovery, but I miss my dog. So I wrote this for both of them.

For Freddy

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

The beauty that remains

Can’t take your place

Though she may try.

She can’t fill the dark shadow

Left by your absence.

She may comfort and help,

She may make me smile,

And her purrs may even delight.

I’m glad my beauty remains,

But my heart will always miss

The spot you once filled.

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My latest poem: “Twisting Hate” (for 45)

Twisting Hate
By Michelle Garren Flye

Twisting words to kick the wounded.

Twisting hate to bind us all.

Twisting rope into a noose.

Without love or truth, you maul.

We’re twisting in the wind,

Left to hang without liberty.

Twisting, hanging, longing…

For the return of sanity.

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Poem: Don’t You See?: The Non-Power of “I Told You So”

Don’t You See?

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

Don’t you see no one wants to say,

“I told you it would happen this way.

I told you the rivers would run dry,

I told you the seas would rise,

I told you the wars would increase

And the world would see US as a beast.”

Don’t you understand we don’t want to fail,

But we see it coming as alarms begin to wail?

No wants to say, “I told you this would happen.”

So tell me…how else can we convince you to listen?

 

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A Poem for My Daughter

When she was born, I finished the process of becoming a mother of three.

For My Daughter

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

You’re my heart and my soul,

You’re a star in my sky.

You made our family whole,

When the stork dropped you by.

 

You are loved, my firefly,

Never doubt your self-worth.

No one else could satisfy

Your place on this earth.

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Happy May Day! (Poetry Summary)

Happy May Day! I remember one particularly happy May Day in elementary school when our art teacher arranged for us to dress up in white and perform a maypole dance. I loved the pretty dress I wore and the colorful ribbons we wove around the maypole (which was actually a flag pole, I think). I’ve always thought it would be fun to do that with my kids, but I guess—like many fun things—the maypole dance is actually sort of a pagan ritual.

May Day and pagan rituals aside, I have completed my own ritual of writing a poem a day in April, and I am actually quite happy with the results. I learned a lot about poetry. It’s a totally different style of writing than writing prose, and especially different from writing a novel. I think my sense of rhythm improved this month and I know I got better (or at least more daring) at rhyme. But what really surprised me was the sense, when I completed a poem, that I’d created a piece of art. Like a sculpture or a painting. Much more so than when I write novels.

I don’t think it has to do with the length of the story. I believe it’s the skill required to combine rhyme, rhythm, structure and story all in a compact nature. Though I can write a poem in a matter of minutes, it requires more thought and planning than you’d think. So, in a way, it’s like sculpting words.

As it happens, I didn’t love every poem I wrote last month, either. But I am happy to note that I only resorted to a simple haiku three times, one of those being Easter. I chose haiku style for the three stanzas of “Headline Design” on purpose, but I don’t think it was a simple haiku. I’m not sure which is my favorite. Possibly “Living in Eden” or “In Over Your Head”. It’s hard for me to like “Self Portrait” because it feels sort of—too revealing. But at the same time, I think it is good. I really like “Beverly Cleary 101”, too.

So that’s it for my poem-a-day-thon. But I think I’ll still post poetry on here from time to time. And I definitely plan to keep writing it. That sense of accomplishment at the end of each poem is too satisfying to give up!

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National Poetry Month: Poem 30

I wanted my last poem of poetry month to be different. A little special and about something I don’t write about often. So here you go. I was as honest as I could be.

Poem 30

Self Portrait

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

Broad strokes for face,

Not my favorite part.

A finer point for hands,

Nimble and quick—

But the weather changes

And pain sets in.

Pink for the breast

And scarlet for the center.

Let the red run a bit,

Let the heart bleed—

No shame for feeling

The world’s hurts.

The head is hardest,

The brain a smudge of gray…

But changeable, like a thundercloud

On a summer’s day.

It’s me, but not.

Not quite, anyway.

I suspect I don’t really know

What others see,

And there’s no other way

To know me.

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