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Updated on August 1, 2012


Like most poets, I want each of my poems to stand on its own, a bridge between me and my reader. Each should have its own strength, its own integrity, and be whole enough to offer an experience for the reader free of intrusion or interpretation on my part. Such intrusions would merely make me a critic of my own stuff, which is pretentious and—worst of all—boring.

Having said all that, here I am breaking my own rule, but this is a rather special situation. A fellow Hubber and fellow poet, Lilyfly, was recently going through what our British friends might call a “rough patch”. Lilyfly is a poet of great strength and honesty, but she was down on her poetry and generally wrestling with a lot of negative demons and this kind of energy was strongly present in a couple of poems. I sent the following short poem to her privately, as a gesture of respect for her talent and a bit of an attempt to pull her out of the doldrums.

She asked me to make the poem available publicly—so that’s the story behind it, and here it is.


when you've written songs

for angels,

brushed your hair gently

against the outer reaches of the stars,

and polished dew drops to

diamond-facet brilliance,

it can be difficult to

remember that those

breakthrough moments are

the slashing swords,

the whirring maces,

the marching phalanxes

of war

that sweeten the sewers

drain the fetid cesspools

and cast sweet seeds

on the dying fields of indifference.

© clark cook


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    • moonfroth profile image

      Clark Cook 5 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Cynthia and Irish Eyes -- I'm pleased that the poem touched your feelings and thank you for your kind words, though "tear-inspired" has wrinkled my brow, Irish. Not sure I get that. . .

      Hyph and Alexander -- I've been urging Lily to get a book of her poems in print. They are so worthy. I'm flattered that you'd like to see my stuff published as well. Thank you.

      Hatter -- ah c'mon! you're leaving me dangling! But I think it's a compliment. . .

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      what can I say, that you don't already know but thank you

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      This tear-inspired poem is wonderful. You have great writing ability and a huge heart.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      You described our Lily perfectly. She is bright and beautiful especially when fighting for her life. Indeed the lives of us all. Moonfroth, you and Lily are wonderful poets. I wish I had books so I could read your words anytime.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      You really should publish your work my friend. I am not a poet, but there is so much depth here I can't find the words to describe my adoration for your work.

    • cynthtggt profile image

      Cynthia Taggart 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Moonfroth - I am so deeply moved by this poem that tears welled up in my eyes. Your compassion and the way you capture the recesses of deepest hope for Lily there in your heart - if only we (Lily) would not be so blind to see it - and conveying to her a deep compassion and commendment of her spirit and talent as a poet - well - made me teary-eyed. Oh, Lily! Is there a greater gift can one receive from a friend?!

    • moonfroth profile image

      Clark Cook 5 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Bob and Snake -- The potential of poetry to open up many roads for many readers through unique and evocative language is surely its hallmark as an art form. Your very different takes on this little piece underscore that point--and Bob, may the transition in imagery baffle you and bring you back to the poem a gazillion times! Snake--as you say, Lily is one-of-a-kind for sure, but I'm hardly a mentor here. I've learned every bit as much from her work as she might have picked up from mine.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 5 years ago from Canada

      Robert, I've been following lilyfly's poetry, and loving it. I admire the courage it takes to give voice to the insecurities that we all experience at times. I hope, given a little time and distance, lilyfly will see how truly remarkable these poems are.

      Your genuine support and mentoring is clearly evident in the comments you've made and the poem you present here. That is a gift to any writer. Regards, snakeslane

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Moon: Well, I read this several times and it is strong all right. Not many poems baffle me; I can usually wring one perception from them that satisfies me. But this did...I assumed you were 'speaking'to a god at first, as I do in verse occasionally; I became lost during the transition from the beautiful things "becoming" the clarion song of warfare. There are as many interpretations of work like this as there are shifting neuron fields producing them...back to read again!