your power lies

not in the lightning

or dark thunder

flat and ominous in

your crushing fist.

your threat lies

not in the powder-blue

of your steel eyes

not in the care-less

sideglance you flick

at a blind man

in the audience.

your menace lies

not in the earth-rumble

of your marching men

not in the lava of iron

that flows in

their hardening veins.


your power and its sneering

brothers wreak havoc

and flame

and mayhem

and death because

of my heart.

© Robert Cook

Comments 15 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

This is a great and wonderful poem. The ominous buildup to the ultimate power only to reveal such a tender victim is perfect. You did a wonderful job here.

moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

Thank you Bird. A sensitive response to my effort. Much appreciated.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Great poem Clark Your work reminds me strongly of some poet I have read and I can't put a face to the thought.

It is so true and I find it hard to really think of all the pain behind all the trauma of these times, both for man and animals.


miss_jkim profile image

miss_jkim 4 years ago

There is such power in your wording and movement. Very stirring poem and nicely done.

Voted up

lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 4 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

Oh, the heart, and it's breaking of a soft word, being more powerful than anything else... ineluctably you own words... divine majesty and surprise, more, more, love, lily

Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 4 years ago from Vermont, USA

How many of our personal demons, and those of the world around us, are imagined, given substance and cultivated by our own minds and hearts?

Even if we should deny credit, blame or responsibility we are complicit.

This is another fine piece...building like a percussive kettle drum solo, abruptly punctuated by the last line's reveal...cymbals clash.

Again you have taken me, with image infused prose, on a brief but beautiful ride I return to savor again and again.

You have skills Clark, and deserve a far greater audience. Thanks for sharing.

Write On!


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

Lily and Christopher--thank you both. You flatter me with your warm comments.

moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

Christopher--I've been involved in other Discussions--about three of them--circling the wagons around the VERY difficult question: what is poetry; what is prose? Fascinating! I wonder if you could tell me what you had in mind when you characterized my poem "Responsibility" as "image-infused prose"? Quite intriguing. I look forward to your comment, if you have a moment.

Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 4 years ago from Vermont, USA


I was raised Catholic, indoctrinated with dogma, where sins have subsets and even angels have classifications and hierarchy.

I used to think poetry had to rhyme and follow discernible patterns. Now, not so much.

Hubpages requires writers to pigeon hole their hubs by choosing a heading that classifies it from that point forward. Prose Poetry is one of the options, and I have found it "close enough" to serve as a label for some of my writing.

I can't detect the fine line between Prose and Poetry. I see hues and shades and gradients. Shakespearean soliloquies to e.e. cummings...prose poetry.

If a single string of singing soaring syllables can be poetic, what is a page of such prose?

Is it Poetry or Free Verse?

I call it Art.

I wrote, "with image infused prose", because I consider the lines poetic prose, clever but conversational, presented in an informal format with no rhyming pattern.

And I like it a lot...labeled or delivered in a brown paper bag!

You know you could come visit sometime!


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

Thanks for taking the time to clarify. You're correct on all counts: personal background will influence how we categorize, and the categories themselves will to some degree be idiosyncratic, even when "dictated". In one thread on--"TS Eliot,the Art of Poetry" Can't remember which group--we went back aand forth in heated discussion,concluding that the whole business of "defining" was a bloody waste of time!

And I HAVE visited and enjoyed, and I'm going to return and comment on your excellent work.

profile image

RHPeat 4 years ago

This sounds like it's from the Tao, Clark. In our vulnerability lies our greatest strength. Compassion reaches further than aggression. That the responsible dwells within the knowing. So the greatest force appears vulnerable.

Alive and dead are abstracted from growth;

Difficult and easy are abstracted from progress;

Far and near are abstracted from position;

Strong and weak are abstracted from control;

Song and speech are abstracted from harmony;

After and before are abstracted from sequence.

The wise controls without authority,

And teaches without words;

He lets all things rise and fall

a poet friend

RH Peat

cynthtggt profile image

cynthtggt 4 years ago from New York, NY

It is always those that cry loudest for a new order that lay claim to the bulwark of ideas on evil that in turn creates most of what we suffer in our hearts.

savvydating profile image

savvydating 3 years ago

Hi moonfroth. Feel free to delete this comment if you wish as it does not pertain to this poem. Nonetheless, your poem is beautiful and intense.

Truthfully, I really don't know where else to reply to your recent question about whether I was being insulting toward you when I used the "literal translation" phrase. I thought of that later - how it made no sense. What I meant to say is that I can count on you to "set me straight." You had mentioned the "null void" thing and that my question was hypothetical, and thus it did not matter whether Martinez had no intention of running for president. You were simply being your intellectual self, and pointing out my error. I didn't mind.

It made me smile because really - I'm just a regular American woman. Sometimes I word things the wrong way. Most of us Americans don't worry about that stuff too much. But if someone points it out, we think "OK, good to know.

I'm definitely not a member of the intellectual elite, but most people I know wouldn't call me dull. Ironically, what I was really thinking was that you have an endearing way about you. I had no idea I sounded insulting. It was not my intent. Truth be told, I enjoy your work and your comments very much.

moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

Savvy--thanks for the note on the other site. DEFINITELY we must talk. Lot of silly misunderstanding goin' on! I'll write privately.

savvydating profile image

savvydating 3 years ago

Great moonfroth! I don't know how to send or receive a private message, but I'll look into it in a day or two, unless the message just sort of appears somewhere...

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