Who Needs Poetry

(I’m pleased to post this poem by my friend Caroline Donnola)

Who needs poetry

when people are bleeding to death

on battlefields

in subway cars

in schools, synagogues, churches?

Who needs poetry

when famine and starvation

deprive small children

of the sustenance they need to grow?

Who needs poetry

when the rulers of the world

fail to lead again and again,

their capacity to become

forces for good

doubtful at best.

Who needs poetry

when the earth is erupting—

spitting out torrential rain and gale-force wind,

destroying lives, defying future generations,

while millions of acres burn to the ground,

maiming life-giving trees

with no rain in sight?

Who needs poetry

when all seems hopeless

and all seems lost?

When decent people

have no say

and struggle to survive?

When the future seems unreal

and the past reminds us

of all the ways we’ve failed?

Poetry, my friends,

did not get us into this mess.

Perhaps its day will come.

We’ll get up every morning

and, brushing aside our usual chores,

we’ll make the time

to open our hearts,

let the words flow

like petals from a broken flower

that will never mend

but can be reborn.

4 thoughts on “Who Needs Poetry

  1. Such a powerful poem, Caroline. Fantastic ending. And love the line: Perhaps its day will come. Maybe because it reminds of that Ruby and the Romantics song from our youth. Maybe because it’s so right on!


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