Charity (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 6 Jan 2023 in Poems

Oil painting of burned field with city in distance






The camp takes all the rising ground

On the delta’s city side

Driftwood split, stakes driven in and roped

paper and cloth of every color, every kind

partition quarters curtain sleepers

Hard-faced pounding builders making use of time

New shelters in construction catching wind like kites

Fortress blocks dragged up on braids of kelp

serve for hammers then at length

for thresholds

hearths and cooking fires are burning

so passing the avenue between

bargaining with a short-reined sanity

Arsonous anger waiting almost longing

for hunger’s wildcat claw to loose its grip

The ease of a lunatic on fire running house to house

meanwhile Gafeidda weaving in and out

has gained a mob

tracking him, knowing in the way of the jealous and deprived

he stretches his legs, he aims to gain the other end

to leave this wantful elder

and the woman, his prop, behind

Charity, virtue at the beggar’s entry strays without

Lingering there a place ahead of courage

Hollow-eyed refugees untroubling to a gatekept bliss

But troubling to the one who holds a fish

It comes to them to lift the old man on their shoulders




Oil painting cameo of maternal figure and child

King of Chaos











(2017, Stephanie Foster)




Virtual cover for poetry collection Mystery Plays





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