The Crater“Even when . . . / . . . the country plummets / into a crepitating crater of hatred . . .” ~ Ada Limon Insults are piled in a corner of the crepitating crater of hatred, racial, ethnic, religious slurs, stereotypes of who’s dirty or dishonest, heaped detritus of words used to define, degrade, dehumanize, and in another corner, sanctions to strike at and strike out, tolerance of torture, approval of boot, pillory, leash, waterboard. Why can’t we all crawl from the crater like caterpillars, spin new webs, rise together as butterflies and wing our way to a peaceful world? ***
BreakdownBeginning with a line from Albert Stewart Winter with the earth withdrawn and neuroti slips in between corn rows. Maples anxiously strip off golden kaftans, stand naked against graying sky. Phobic flowers bend heads in one last prayer, giving up on life, color, beauty. The ground fixates on concealing bulbs well below its clammy surface. The river is disturbed, its façade a false mirror tempting the vulnerable. I become irrational, withdrawn and neurotic as the earth. ***
Glass on the RoadI turn sharply, hugging the curb to avoid the million fragments of glistening glass. I’m traveling in the wake of someone I can’t see, not knowing the extent of inconvenience or tragedy which visited this corner before I arrived, not knowing if the remains of their misfortune will puncture my tires, leave me stranded up the road. If so, they will never know. How many sharp shards have I dropped where others would step, bloodying their feet? Whose tires have been punctured by my accidents? ***
Wilda Morris, Workshop Chair of Poets and Patrons of Chicago and a past President of the Illinois State Poetry Society, has been published in numerous anthologies, webzines, and print publications, including The Ocotillo Review, Pangolin Review, and Journal of Modern Poetry. She has won awards for formal and free verse and haiku. Her second poetry book, Pequod Poems: Gamming with Moby-Dick, was published by Kelsay Books in 2019. Her poetry blog at wildamorris.blogspot.com features a monthly poetry contest.
Read more poetry on Bengaluru Review: “I am an old harmonium”: Three poems by Sekhar Banerjee “I sank a marriage of stone and water”: Four poems by Sophia Naz ‘It was spring and we suckled dreams’: Four poems by Linthoi Ningthoujam