"In memoriam for some women," "Another Way Drone," and "Thirteen Ways Drones"

In memoriam for some women

blood on a gray floor of
weathered wood––4th Ward
Houston, a shack–a kind of
being silenced––
a kind of
thick despair––where
profit proffers aid
not there



Another way drone

the drone is thick with ash
            and advertising
the drones of change, tching, tching, tching​
            jingle jangle in the air
the drones drone on and on in the 
            target rich environment
in the tree tops the baby will fall into
            the silence of the drone



Thirteen Ways Drones

            ––after Wallace Stevens

Among twenty tiny cradles,
the only moving thing
was the eye of the drone.
The drone eyed three targets
searching for a tree
with three cradles
The drone whirled in ashy winds
it danced in destruction.
a drone and a human
are one
a drone and a human and a cradle
are one
A drone does not know which to target
the sounds of infants
or the sounds of poets
the living earth
of just after
Drones filled the long windows
with barbaric gas
The shadow of the drone
crossed, to and fro.
The drone
traced orders of men
their indecipherable causes
O tin men of war
Why do you imagine golden drones?
Do you not see how earth
disintegrates around your feet?
I know noble algorithms,
and lucid, inescapable targets;
but I know, too,
that the drone is involved
in what I know.
When the drone flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of humanity.
At the sight of drones
flying in green light,
even the bawds of brutality
cry out sharply
The drone flew over Texas
in a golden plane
Once, vainglory pierced him,
and he mistook
projectiles of his own words
for missiles
The drone is moving.
missiles must be flying
It was evening all afternoon
Ash was falling
and it was going to fall
The drone sat
within shrouds of rubble




Martha Jackson Kaplan

Martha Jackson Kaplan is a Pushcart nominated poet and flash fiction writer who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She has a passion for history, a sense of place, and language itself. She has published both in print and online and has won awards from Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. You can find her flash fiction at Bending Genres II, an essay in Bramble V (online and in print), and is thrilled to be published again with Unlikely Stories Mark V. More about her can be found at MarthaKaplanPoet.com.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 21:16