Poem: Anything Else

deathof socrates alcestis
The Death of Socrates 1787 Oil on canvas, 98 x 133 cm Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

 

Anything Else

-Shannon P. Laws

 

It flakes off my shoulder when I bend down

Black trails my movement

Dark spots in the corner of my eye

let me know it’s still there

A reminder of the charcoal thread

that ties me to my past

whisps of whispers from

that one night long ago

 

The hurt bleeds out

over the decades

dribbles into a bucket

deeper than my lifetime will hold

A pain oozes out of me

weeps down the bark of me

black like sap

 

Poem: Wallow in Ashes

joseph-henry-sharp-lament-for-the-dead-xx-cincinnati-art-museum (1)
“Lament for the Dead” Painting by Joseph Henry Sharp, Cincinnati Art Museum

 

Wallow in Ashes

-for  Joshua S. Blough, 28, shot/died in Elizabethtown, KY  7/7/2015

 

Somewhere a family mourns

In your town the pleasant fields are quiet

fruit of the vine quivers in dew

sky covers itself in sackcloth

 

A neighbor calls for a welfare check

You answer with your knife

Weapon of passion, of close contact

Statement perhaps of festered pain

 

How could they shoot you down

so quickly, remove your life

take your voice, a voice that cries

 

Joshua you left us and we mourn

We will lament with howls

No oil will touch our heads

Joshua’s voice is silenced!

 

Twenty-eight years of breath

Your newborn cry relieved your mother’s pain

Your laugh made others laugh

Your voice comforted a friend

 

You walked among us

In other times than that day

Times of fulfillment

Times of past

 

 

Shannon P. Laws lives in Bellingham, Washington. She is a Peace Poet sister


 

This poem was created for “Lament for the Dead” project.  Thank you Carey for this intense project.

LAMENT FOR THE DEAD IS AN ONLINE COMMUNITY POETRY PROJECT WHICH WILL MARK THE DEATH OF EVERY PERSON KILLED BY POLICE THIS SUMMER, AND EVERY POLICE OFFICER WHO LOSES LIFE IN THE LINE OF DUTY, WITH A POEM.

“The first lie that hate tells us is that any other person is not as human as we are.

This project resists that lie by recognizing each other’s humanity, even in the most difficult places.

Some people believe all people killed by police are criminals.
Some people believe the police are criminals.
Many people believe no criminal deserves lament.

But this project asks us to seek the humanity in all people, even when we have committed terrible crimes.

At heart, it asks whether we hope someone might offer grace to us, at our ugliest or most difficult moments.”

www.lamentthedead.org

My submission posted here:

http://www.lamentforthedead.org/poems/2015/7/9/joshua-s-blough-28-elizabethtown-ky

 

Read the news article about Joshua’s death here:

http://www.whas11.com/story/news/local/2015/07/08/ksp-releases-names-of-elizabethtown-police-dept-officers-involved-in-fatal-shooting/29861815/