May 10, 2021

Sons and flowers.

One son, the younger one, is ashes, he sleeps

In a canister near my bed. Always close.

The other son, the older one, is in a mental lockdown.

Schizophrenia. And he seems farther away

Then the dead one, truth be told. A hard truth, that.

They both come to me in dreams sometimes,

But never together. Always alone.

Sometimes one, sometimes the other. 

Dreams where I wake in the night, troubled,

And sleep leaves me for the rest of the night.

My dead son seems happy, peaceful.

The troubled son makes no sense at all,

Not even in my dreams. He suffers.

Dreams that are like life.

My dreams, like life.

The hard truth. 


Now the earth tastes of flowers, perhaps irises, 

And these flowers have to caress our lives. 

I reject the ghosts of my mother and my father 

Just as I reject all flags and leaders. The earth 

And the flowers, the irises, are my family. 

What substance is there to a ghost? 

What substance is there to a flag? 

Life is for passion, love, kindness, 

The beauty of things growing on the earth.


Generosity is an antidote to fear. When you practice being generous with your time, your joy, and your spirit, fear loosens its grip.

-Marc Lesser


Ren Powell

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VIA NEGATIVA, purveyors of fine poetry since 2003


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