S Slashed

Scarecrow Face

Richard Keeling

We of the swollen carapace

Shall know pain mightily

Shall learn when to hold

And when to surrender

But until then we carve

Our ruts especially deep.


The world is a petri dish

And my expectations

Are irrelevant to the duration

Of my species as a whole

I speak for no man who does not

Possess a heart and tongue

Equally capable of noise

Sometimes there is even

Music between us

A kind of invertebrate symphony

Our flesh more easily stitched

Than bone or is it?


No amount of persuasion

Could draw this veil aside

For there is always another

Willing to negate the privilege.

We are alive but only just

Who among us can face

The collective consciousness?

We’ve created a society

That is contradictory

To life and our sorrows

However, scarce their content

Cannot find amelioration

In any known conquest


We contend that as children

We lived but every whisper

Contains its dose of poison

To be is to be had, to become

For the sake of an approximation

That in conflict does not stand


There are no eyes only

Pits of contagion

No smiles only frowns

Of inebriation worn askance

No hands without blood

For mercy does not fill

Leather as hate does

The seismic universal

Of self-worth is S slashed


We never look into the fires

That we have lit unless

We’ve found in some

Fool a culprit or alibi

There is no accounting

For denial, we survive only

In this moment

No matter how precariously

The future rests


I got too excited about the prompt Jen suggested so I went ahead and wrote something. I might have to move that challenge up in my schedule lol This is just where my mind took me on reading it.


29 responses to “S Slashed

  1. Very powerful, lines like these “No hands without blood

    For mercy does not fill”, which your poems always abound in, really make you question your own eprsonality and mind and simply have a conversation with yourself, it makes you rediscover and erase what you dont like and that is really special to recieve from a poem.

  2. hello dear friend. this is a lovely, dark, enrapturing poem. i enjoyed it so!

    i have missed your blog and your work.

    i actually was wanting to feature you on my own blog in my ‘creative and cultured’ section, since you have such interesting character (and poetry).

    i did have your email written down but have since lost it 😦

    please email me at prettypoetstacy@gmail.com and i will give you details!! 🙂

    i hope to hear from you soon!

  3. a few lines in this really jumped out at me…We are alive but only just…and when contend we lived as children…ha…i hear that often, how much better it was…and how we lost it…i wonder if we could ever find our way back…

  4. This is great — in your first stanza you really pick up Eliot’s tone of discontent and despair – an accusing finger pointing right back at us. And “there is always another / Willing to negate the privilege” stuck with me – the hopelessness. I agree with Michael — your response leaves the reader with so many questions and so many things to think about. 🙂

  5. Ah… the fall of all. Can we not call upon Pandora –
    Is there no hope at all.

    Pat encouraged me to read ‘The Hollow Men’ and as it is best to go with first impressions… I did. (It’s in the linky thingy.)

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