Slice of Life: A Poem of Mourning and Madness

(Slice of Life is a month-long writing challenge to write every day in March, with a focus on the small moments. It is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This year, I’m going to pop in and out, but not write daily slices, as I did for the past ten years of Slice of Life. You write, too.)

 

My personal way to deal with the world is often to write. All I have to offer in the wake of the tragedy of Christchurch, New Zealand, is a poem. It doesn’t seem nearly enough.

What madness writes
seventy-four pages of
nonsense, a diatribe
to destroy others,
in a bid to be recognized
by the world, splintered
as it is, already, by hate?

And what madness watches
the world splinter
even further on the
small screen, as if the knowing is not
enough, that the
seeing is required for truth?

What I know in this mourning
only is sadness, and grief,
and compassion, and no one ever seems
to stream the kindness of
the world, only the madness

Peace (to us all),
Kevin

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27 Comments
  1. Your poetry always speaks truth. Today it’s a spark of beauty against the darkness, a reminder that all compassion is not yet gone. It is hard to understand what man chooses to do to man. I mourn with you this “world splintered by hate.”

    • Fran, thank you for your words, too. I suppose poetry is one way to try to express oneself, even if it sometimes feels like skittering across the surface of something deeper.
      Kevin

  2. What I know in this mourning
    only is sadness, and grief,
    and compassion, and no one ever seems
    to stream the kindness of
    the world, only the madness

    Exactly Kevin, Thanks

  3. Kevin, what a beautiful response to such a horrific event. I think so many of us are stunned by the hatred and cruelty that is lurking out there and ready to strike some of the kindest, most vulnerable people. Your words were like a salve for my soul.

  4. Kevin, you have captured the ache that I feel after yesterday’s senseless act. Yes we do need to stream kindness. Thinking deeply about that idea.

  5. “No one ever seems to stream the kindness of the world.” This is a powerful line. Beautifully constructed, Kevin. Your poem is comforting. These words matter. Thank you.

  6. Thank you, Kevin. Words can be a salve, a comfort. Thank you for this poem. I echo what Glenda and others point out – that last line: “No one ever seems to stream the kindness of the world, only the madness” brings it all home.

  7. Your poem is wonderful even though it speaks of man’s inhumanity towards man. I can’t even bring myself to write about this. THank you for doing so!

  8. especially… “stream the kindness of
    the world”

    I’ve been thinking the same for two years now– each of us must “stream the kindness of the world”

    I’m reminded of the song by Raffi for Nelson Mandela and his words: Turn This World Around

    Your poems lift us all. Thank you, Sheri

  9. Kevin, this is a beautiful poem for a very sad event. Let’s stream kindness. Your poem was enhanced by Lumen 5. You reminded me to try this approach for a new slice. Thanks.

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