Against the Second

featured in the poetry forum April 20, 2024  :: 0 comments

—after Michael Kleber-Diggs

And why should gun violence be a
Big deal to me? Well,
Could be my dad’s un-regulated,
Deeply misguided attempt to make a statement. He was anti-Militia,
Even served as a Conscientious Objector in WWII, that fact being
Forgotten the night he found it necessary
Gamesmanship to
Hold a fired pistol in his hand while he lay on the
Infirm floor insulting the security /
Joinery / now / disjointed / fragile / fabric of
Kinship. He shot a book, not himself. There was not a
Loss of life that night, nor a divorce later, so we got away scot-free.
My only other brush with guns was out-of-State—
Neighbors who moved to Colorado. The
Older boy, Terry, shot his father. It was a hunting accident, so you’re right,
Public safety wasn’t really the issue. As a matter of
Quantity, most gun deaths are the
Result of suicide, but it turns out the people
Suddenly lost to self-harm in my life turned to
Tailpipes or a knife. So you might ask why I keep
Unfurling these thin ribbons of proposed constraints and
Visions of gunlessness — one small human with no clear right to bear
Witness against the wanton proliferation of Arms
X-ing out lives, limbs, livelihoods, tearing apart families & communities. Shall
Your revisionist interpretation of 27 words mean we can not
Zero in on sanity, i.e., no weapons of war in civilian hands? It’s my right to be
A voice of conscience. May that right not be infringed.

editors note:

Those on the right would call this left, but it’s a right, just the same. Right? (We welcome Rita to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 30, 2023  :: 0 comments

In Senegal
near Dakar
not far from
the baobab forest
you will find
the undulating
confetti-colored hills
of Mbeubeuse
where long-horned cattle
roam foraging for food
alongside pickers,
scrubbers, choppers,
also climbing
the toxic mounds
of the world’s garbage
that stretches
to the horizon
for red,
yellow, blue,
orange, green,
pink plastic.
foraging a living from
13 cents a kilogram
turned into pellets
shipped to China
formed into new
plastic items.
So weighty
is the journey
of our detritus.

editors note:

Who’d’ve thunk plastic would be so drastic? – mh clay

The Baby

featured in the poetry forum September 26, 2023  :: 0 comments

talked his way
out of the womb
with a false I.D.

lectured nightly
on the value
of sleep, held press

when things didn’t
go his way


very soon.

editors note:

Who’s your baby? Not this one! – mh clay