Vox Populi

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Michael Simms: What Holds Us Together Keeps Us Apart

Dragon’s Blood
I dream of a forest in heaven
thick stands of American Ash
American Chestnut American Elm
Saint Helena Olive and of course
The Great Sequoia
And on a nearby island
Dragon’s Blood Trees
oozing red resin
which tinted the violins
of Stradivarius 

The Fabric
The loss of each species 
diminishes us 
tears at the fabric and
the news is too much 
with us 
The bees in their 
hives are dying the manatee
sliced by a motor blade
bleeding in the shallow 
cove where her kind 
have lived since we 
were human the forests
of Amazonia are burning
We are burning
We are dying 

There is something 
in the American heart 
that wants to destroy
everything beautiful

The dirty child at our border
who walked 500 miles
sharing a pair of shoes
with her brother 

And we
have no pity we have no shame
we refuse love and how
could we how could we want
something different than

Michael Simms is the editor of Vox Populi.

From American Ash, published by Ragged Sky. Copyright 2020 Michael Simms.

13 comments on “Michael Simms: What Holds Us Together Keeps Us Apart

  1. Deborah DeNicola
    July 31, 2022

    I admire how you say so much in so few words!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sean Sexton
    July 31, 2022

    How could we?
    The shoes image is devastating. It like an empty raft of the “embarqueros” that made it to the shores of my childhood. Made of the same substance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vox Populi
      July 31, 2022

      Thanks, Sean. So many of our ancestors came to this country poor and desperate, fleeing war, famine, oppression. And yet we turn away refugees who come here for the same reasons. The way we treat the Central American refugees is unconscionable.


      Liked by 2 people

  3. vengodalmare
    July 30, 2022

    Those that have happened to us are hard times, perhaps those who lived between the two wars and then the Spanish and then the stupidity of hearing Nazi and fascist words since you had a brother just before, etc. they had hard times to endure .. I don’t know, maybe my optimism prevents me from seeing that the whole world will end.

    Then I read your poems and I think that as long as there is the sensitivity to write poems so beautiful the world will always be alive.

    The Dragon! Blood left me a hole in my heart and so did Shoes. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. loranneke
    July 30, 2022

    “There is something
    in the American heart
    that wants to destroy
    everything beautiful

    The dirty child at our border
    who walked 500 miles
    sharing a pair of shoes
    with her brother ”

    When I read it the first time: tears in my eyes. Reading it again, now: tears again for those children. But for America, the planet, and all of us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vox Populi
      July 30, 2022

      Thanks, Laure-Anne. I don’t see things changing — the destruction of the planet, the oppression of people in the southern continents, the foolishness of our leaders, the greed of corporations…

      Liked by 2 people

  5. glen brown
    July 30, 2022

    I love the urgent plea in this poem! Glen

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rose Mary Boehm
    July 30, 2022


    Liked by 1 person

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