For years, we smelled smoke.
The facade was on fire, still
measurements went un-taken.

Flames carelessly set by those who
ignited lives as if humans were candles.

The bent spoons and broken bowls
courted cracked cups?

Many lessons floated yet the education was
swatted away like a pest-of-an-insect
near a cupcake of coveted ignorance.

The oddness of oddity became home-like,
The backdoor exit was boarded and the
front doorbell rang and rang.
So sorry to disturb!

There was a string of words with no answers.
Some debated nonnegotiable solids; bartered
rock to be less rock-like and wanted the sky

to be less air-filled.

We prayed on our thumbs instead of our knees
then spent our days a stumble-trip away from most
hues that resemble light.


Questioned the shadows we conjured, our hands

were ink. We wonder, what is this darkness?



Beverly M. Collins

Beverly M. Collins is the Author of the books, Quiet Observations: Diary thought, Whimsy and Rhyme and Mud in Magic. Her poems have also appeared in California Quarterly, Poetry Speaks! A year of Great Poems and Poets, The Hidden and the Divine Female Voices in Ireland, The Journal of Modern Poetry, Spectrum, The Altadena Poetry Review, Lummox, The Galway Review (Ireland), Verse of Silence (New Delhi), Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine (London), Scarlet Leaf Review (Canada), The Wild Word magazine (Berlin) and many others. Winner of a 2019 Naji Naaman Literary Prize in Creativity (from Lebanon). Collins is also a prize winner for the California State Poetry Society who has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, once for Independent Best American Poetry and “short listed” for the 2018 Pangolin Review Poetry Prize (Mauritius).


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