'Sorrow names today,' "Prabhakaran's Ghost," and 'Innocence and despair date each'

Sorrow names today
Why was it you and not me?
Where is your justice?



Prabhakaran’s ghost

Steeling power against
Steeling against power
Machines of state breeding
Machines of war
Treason teaches friends
Enemies teach death
An elephant crushes a tiger underfoot,
tiger rips off elephant’s leg,
chews the leg, spits out its blood
as it expires, now chewing a
cyanide capsule
Machines of war
feed machines of hate
that grind up the refugees
sloshing though swamp,
dealing the best gold
for a ghost of a hope
as the coffee grinder
grinds up sons, daughters
Ammas, Ammammas.
Prabhakaran’s ghost
sloshes through swamp
wandering, lonely,
angry, fierce
with pockets full of bullets
and cyanide capsules.
There were just not enough
of either.
So he chews off whatever
elephant legs cross his path.



Innocence and despair date each
other frequently. They kiss like
their lives depend on it.
You think this should not be happening, but it is.
You think this should not be beautiful, but it is.
Random samples of Caucasian guilt and children’s laughter
are bleeding from cuts in your carcass. Only yesterday
the time was ripe for the disposal of solitude, trouble, and
the meaning of life.
You don’t know if now is the right time for whistleblowing,
so you dispose of the whistle before
it causes trouble for your solitude and the meaning of life.
Meanwhile, innocence and despair are on a date, and
kissing like their lives depend on it.



R. Bremner

R. Bremner has been writing of incense, peppermints, and the color of time since the 1970s. He has appeared in International Poetry Review, Paterson Literary Review, and other venues. Ron has published two books and five chapbooks of poetry, including Hungry Words (Alien Buddha Press) and Absurd (Cajun Mutt Press). He reads with the Red Wheelbarrow Poets and the Brownstone Poets, and lives in northern New Jersey with his lovely sociologist wife of 33 years. He recommends the Parkinson's Foundation.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 22:01