Years have passed
since you emerged,
and still your wings unfold.

A dark world
would make you a victim.
Don’t live in its shadow.

Certain, within yourself,
pride is yours.
Wear it.

This is my response to dVerse Poetics: On Pride. Anmol asks us to write a poem on pride, gender fluidity, sexuality, protest, et al. I have seen how cruel the world can be and the damage it can inflict.

The recent US Supreme Court decision regarding employment discrimination, with the inclusion of LGBTQ, is a step forward. There are many more steps before us. Other poems I have written relative to this matter can be found here.

Image source: screen capture from this YouTube video (Nature in Motion).

fws: a journal of literature & art ~ Improvisational Collection

My poem “One True Constant” appears at formidable woman sanctuary as a part of fws: a journal of literature & art, Renga Issue, Spring 2020. The issue is an “improvisational collection,” updated as submissions are accepted. Poets are asked to join by submitting a few lines/stanzas that are “responsive to the evolving work.” So read on, here, and consider adding your words to this great project.
Many thanks to d. ellis phelps, editor of formidable woman sanctuary for including my poem.

Ken G.

Pieter Caspersen van Naerden  [1600-1664]

Pieter Caspersen van Naerden       [1600-1664]

In your world,
where Amsterdam was New,
would I have known you?
We are not all that different.

Horsepower hauled my loads,
it’s true, but it would seem
alien to you, with oxen
drawing your wagon of spirits.

I never delivered beer,
but I’ve enjoyed drinking it.
Did you quaff a pint or two of ale
after a hard day’s work?

Your beer served warmer than lagers
and ales of today, had you seen
another fifty years you might have
enjoyed a porter or a stout, my favorites.

Across ten generations,
from one teamster to another,
here’s to you,
Pieter Caspersen van Naerden.

This poem is my response to Poetics: Back to Life, from Laura at dVerse Poets Pub, with the prompt to write a poem by reconstituting a dead person, one that is unknown to us, neither family nor famous. I’ve taken the liberty of choosing someone who may, or may not, be from my family tree. I’ve yet to confirm that.

Down in Flames ~ prosery

Down in Flames

We go in different directions down the imperturbable street, but how long can that be true? We carry the same signs, chant the same words calling for justice in a world too long without, but your way is far different than ours. They may be louder, but your words ring hollow. Your goal is to incite, giving you the freedom to wreak havoc while others pay.

Even then, your motives are clouded. Is it anarchy, a wish to overthrow the establishment as so many claim, or is it merely an opportunity to loot and vandalize, damn the very people we march to protect? Actions such as yours only solidify the hatred in the narrow minds we try so hard to change, guaranteeing our defeat.

You throw your first flaming bottle, a window breaks, and I know the streets will never be the same again.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery Monday: Different Directions, presented by Merril at dVerse Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is “We go in different directions down the imperturbable street,” from “An Aspect of Love, Alive in the Ice and Fire,”  by Gwendolyn Brooks.  My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.  Other entries can be read here.

Image source: