After the Fire and More

Updated on June 27, 2018

After The Fire

“Just wanna be happy,” they say

When really they mean a life of complacency

Some pastoral birthright

This cyclopean span of months or years,

Of forbearance yawning

Entombed in an echo,

No wit or woe.

Red earth

Sifts through our fingers

Volcanic keepsake from

That long-ago island where it

First bled

“World peace,” they say

Never connecting that adversity

Differentiates deer from sheep

Seeing God as some great umpire, queen bee,

Or incomprehensible, capricious sea.

Mistaking mankind for a creature satisfied

With mundane ease.

So fast

It passes through

A whistling wall of steel

And blank faces watching the world

Go by

“It's only natural,” we say

Wanting wrongs righted on a karmic scale.

“We're only human,” we say

To explain past sins away.

Dust off our rusty hubris and see,

How long could life be sustained in a state

Of utter normalcy?

Green bud

On blackened branch

While ash drifts still on air

Reach skyward there to await

New dawn

*I apologize for the almost political tone of this poem, that's just how it wanted to be. I had some cinquains I'd created that wanted to be together and this is just what happened to them organically*

Chooser Of The Slain

Wardrums thrum as

My body wakes to itself

The night is something to survive

A Grim thing of thrusting steel and flesh

Seeking value in moments that mean nothing

Bold soldiers seek to slake my thirst

Hot blood may thaw an icy heart

Each chosen for an aspect forged by blood and luck

Or Adeptness in the wanton battle

Brief conquests bittersweet mounted

Trophies, a posthumous dismissal to the hall

Alas, I really didn't mean to be

Just another Valkyrie

*I had a professor who espoused once that all great literature was mostly about sex and death. This poem would be right up his alley. L'amour est un champ de bataille.*

Daedalus's Rejoinder (A Villanelle)

Take care, dear child, so starry-eyed

For infants know naught of grace

Rejoice, rejoice! Take wing and fly!

Find glee in the wrath that holds you high

No limits to restrain your pace

Take care, dear child so starry-eyed

Where angels spurn your last goodbye

No one to define your place

Rejoice, rejoice! Take wing and fly!

Counting all the stars in the vast sky

Nothing to explain your haste

Take care, dear child, so starry-eyed

Note where bright threads in mazes lie

Eschew the reckless, hoary chase

Rejoice, rejoice! Take wing and fly!

To the heavens hoist the rally cry

Ne'er spit in the maw of summer's face

Take care, dear child, so starry-eyed

Rejoice, rejoice! Take wing and fly!

*Just me experimenting with different poetry forms as I so enjoy doing upon occasion.The villanelle was a poetry form created out of the Italian Villanella folk songs from the 17th century . In the villanelle there are always 6 stanzas. The first 5 stanzas are 3 lines long and the last stanza is 4 lines long. The first line and the last line of the first stanza take turns repeating as the final line of the next 4 stanzas and then are rejoined as the last 2 lines of the poem. There's an Oceanic feel to a good villanelle, like waves as the same line crash into to shore again and again with different connotations each time. I hope you don't hesitate to try this form for yourselves!*

Fall Ahoy!


like autumn to

vaginate in summer's

wake, to keckle us against the


lust for climatic clemency

likewise on to winter's



*I am not sure at all that I am done with this. You may see it used (or parts of it) down the line. However its a nice little blurb and I haven't done anything with it in almost a year so I decided to share.*

10 Things I Believe

I believe apple trees aren't native to this planet

The seeds are UFOs

Shove one in your ear and you will grow a tree

I believe Santa eats naughty kids

And that's why he's obese

I believe sharks are fugitives from dolphin justice

I believe in silence so profound it can deafen you

I believe lions have plans

I believe terrorism is just another word for human stupidity

I believe cars only work when you don't take it for granted they will

I believe life on earth is only possible because I believe it is

I believe birds can fly because they have no knowledge of gravity

I believe death is a doorway to a new beginning for some

For others, a trap-door to an abrupt end

*List poems are fun. It is my opinion however that these are best suited to humorous subjects. Wrote this just to revel in my own ridiculousness*

Green Leaves

She walks away, the charming curve of her back to him

While cloud-shadow merges with the glare and salt

Of the winter shore. Stealthily, the penumbra of perception emerges

While he waits for her to turn. The green space between

The words as yet unseasoned by time, too many days spent elsewhere

And not enough on this beach.

Here, years before, the strawberry zest of life still shone,

She ran ahead then too, little-girl-like to chase the gulls

Into startled flight, to be the first to dip her toes into the Pacific.

Now she names him “Philistine” as she finds her Puerto-Rican pride

Shaking her donkey's jawbone, anger warring with fear

Obvious in every taut sinew.

There had been an ancient maple behind the rural school

He attended as a child. Every spring the leaves,

Starry explosions of green, fascinated him. She does

That too, even now, when she leaves him, floundering

With the driftwood, washed up by

The iron-green of the sea.

Forsaken Garden

Alone, at the window

Cool glass shield blocking

The creations of a dreamer out

For the morning sun to find.

Eyes follow the lithe form

Of a stray cat briefly

making its way across

the heavily-shaded veranda.

See withered grapes grasp

Untended vines in hope

Of a long unforgotten care,

Popular hymn in this place.

Butterfly bushes nearby wilt

Their purple-y blooms ground

To dust on the gravel path

That coils between the beds.

Observe thorns interlacing

Beneath glorious raiment

of thriving red-gold elegance

Wild roses need no tending.

Beyond the broken gate

Moss-backed oaks sway

Complacent in their senescence

They don't feel the seasons anymore.

Feel the low melody of the garden

Like the strum of flesh on flesh

or rototilling on a sandy beach

A vigorous attestation of life

To no purpose understood

By anyone else.

Do me (and yourselves) a favor and read these poems as all poetry should be read. (Slowly, thoughtfully and out loud to wring every nuance of flavor from them.)

Would love to hear which poems you guys preferred or your fave line out of all of them. What spoke to you? What made you laugh? What made you you cringe? What could I have done better? Feel free to submit revisions if you think they'd be better, share your own gems etc. I can't wait to see what you have to say!


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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Northweststar,

      I found this collection of poetry very diverse and interesting. I had to smile all the way through “10 Things I Believe” and particularly enjoyed “Green Leaves.” Poetry is so diverse with many forms to experiment with and explore, or you can simply abandon all structure and do your own thing.

      I don’t spend a lot of time disecting and looking for deeper hidden meanings but do like to read poetry out loud and if it rolls off the tongue pleasantly or has a clear message that means something I enjoy it.

      Anyway I enjoyed reading these and your thought process on each one.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      2 years ago from U.S.A.

      Hello, Northwest Star,

      Primarily, I love your name. Coupling North and West - Well, you can't go wrong.

      Next, I love the classics as well, but I think in the process many voices and thoughts get crushed in the supposed belief that one way can speak for the entire mass of humanity. I do not think of you in that way - this is just what I've learned from my language courses and hanging out with novelist and poets. I grew up with Emily Dickenson, Longfellow, the Canterbury Tales - the list goes on and on. Yet, I knew there was more because everyone doesn't share the same story nor express it the same way.

      There are themes which are universal. There are many doors to reach those themes and everyone doesn't like the front, side, or back door. But poetry is a beautiful house in which I am glad to share a room on Hub Pages with you, my creative friend.

      I love poetry slams by the way.

      I'm excited to see more of your work. See you at the dining table of insight and understanding.

      Finally, pick your poetry apart; tear it up, Northwest Star, until your soul says - that's it. This is bitter sweet dessert.

      May you have peace and joy today.



    • northweststarr profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Washington State

      Tim, thanks so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed reading!

      I do love the poetry of the islands, always such great use of rhythm and slant rhyme. (If that's where your writing takes you more power to you!)

      I tend to be a more classical poet though I really enjoy stretching myself and trying new and different forms.

      Had a mental image of you at a poetry slam "dropping the mike" when you were done with something profound. Like... it doesn't get any better than this... nough said... Ha!

      Unfortunately I have a rather catlike tendency to pick apart and play with the language of a poem til I'm convinced the little sucker has no more insights to offer before I finish it off and drag it to your doorstep. Even then I may get bored and come back to paw at it again later on down the line if you didn't already swoop on it and hail it as "the best thing you've ever heard."

      I'm glad you like my villanelle! It was a challenging form for me but you've given me hope it wasn't a waste of time! Much love to you and yours!

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      2 years ago from U.S.A.

      Hi, Northwest Star,

      Wonderful work. I like the images and the message. (Santa eating naughty kids! I'm still laughing. Apple trees may be from another planet, indeed!)

      Since poetry is subjective, every style and form doesn't "fit" everyone's perspective of what poetry "should" be. I'm a fan of the surrealistic, spiritual, and naturalist approaches, peppered with feelings unique to my heritage (Native American and African American.)

      Inasmuch, when I publish the poem: "It is done." My emotions are finished on the topic for the moment.

      This is not consistent with the European traditions of poetry and more in line with what you find in Caribbean poets. (I don't like to be pinned down because the experiences are too rich to be held by one form or style.)

      Yet, you mentioned revising some of your work; it's beautiful in what you have presented. Maybe you will expand those lines; maybe not. If your emotions and experience are complete in uncertainty and communicating the moment for art sake, then congratulations.

      I love these lines:

      Daedalus's Rejoinder (A Villanelle)

      Take care, dear child, so starry-eyed

      For infants know naught of grace

      Rejoice, rejoice! Take wing and fly!

      Rich and beautiful because we all want to find the child within and still have innocence and grace. Paradoxical and true.






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