When Evil Happens

Evil is a course served hot, cold, room temperature and often throughout so-called civilization.

how are we to react to these sometimes indivisible, usually worse, wounds even if not necessarily bloodied ourselves?

beyond our memories fading and attempted mindful adjustments


Is overt callousness or a disengaged ‘meh’ acceptable, or only as an emotional shield for the tender who feel too much?

does indifference or maybe the kinder narrative, apathy, only induce or reinforce hardening?

Call it a life less felt?


Is deepening despair or reactionary fury one of the more amenable roads to be traveled?

these separated-at-birth twins living large in cadence with our lives since the Big Bang

as the collective community of beings fails yet again

with selflessness, caring, righteousness and revenge battling for desirability

Call it a life excessively felt?


Should practiced equanimity be our goal?

yet a call to action, not benign acceptance

understanding the static state plateau is unworthy of satisfaction and rest

Call it a life evenly felt?


Each path serves immediate primal needs.

Consider that we are all works: some in-progress, some in-regress, some immutable, most a melange of all three.

In Search of the Good Old Days

Vicious suffering was the fate of both my grandmothers
one, tormented by a metaphorical myriad of stabbing hot pokers
concluded her unholy hell
by swallowing the contents of a bottle of lye
surely an anguished choice but one determined better than living as is
did she feel even a moment of peace in her fading consciousness?
still I need to think so.

My other grandmother died of breast cancer in pre-hospice days
when patients weren’t informed of their killer
a haunting iteration of don’t ask, don’t tell
ignorance condoned as bliss
chosen by those in charge of preaching suffering as natural law
the alpha and omega of ‘do harm.’

— inspired by a poetry writing class prompt about grandmothers


I guess I’m a homo sapien
but not by choice or formal invitation
However, I am bereft of any other membership, save one
I am married, a union man of mutual co-signing
in a dues-paying division of labor, even as a twosome
implied and actual contracts and pay rates continually readjusted as are benefit packages
with union busters, pecking and nibbling, just doing their job

But if we are even semi-blessed and human wise plus
matrimony contains periods of elevation
when your fellow unionist sees a higher iteration of yourself
selflessly aims towards its progress
lauds advancement
understanding crashing back to earth as necessary as well as grist and then fertility for the flesh-and-blood mill
and with awe, you mirror your partner

We are unfinished works of art attempting to pitter-patter up-and-down a two-way street
at times slogging, laden with resistance
but chosenly joined
not just to one who would have us
but with someone possessing the willingness to absorb our DNA
and mutually re-paint, re-hammer and re-sculpt over for a finer future.

— inspired by a poetry writing class prompt about membership