Poem with an explanation: the hail storm

the sun rises
as darkness falls
hurrying out
into the hail storm

from the moment the wheels
to the halls of stone
the jackals bite
the hyenas laugh

into the cave
the walls of respite
but only for a moment
then to the storm

the sentinels’ eyes
are turned away
their ears of stone
do not hear

the wheels again
and steps are taken
nightmares continue
during the day

through the glass
the crowd jeers
and comforting hands
are somewhere else

into the night
a place of escape
dreading the moment
of the sun’s return


This poem is about being bullied.  In the poem, there is a little boy who is bullied at school.

The boy wakes up (the sun rises) and the reality that he will be bullied that day hits him as he does (as darkness falls).  In a strange situation, he has to hurry to get ready to go to school (hurrying out), a place he really doesn’t want to go (into the hail storm).

As soon as the bus comes (from the moment the wheels) the bullying starts.  It continues at school (to the halls of stone), where bullies harass the boy (the jackals bite) while their friends laugh (the hyenas laugh).

During lunch, the boy hides in the bathroom (into the cave the walls of respite), but lunch is only so long (but only for a moment) and he has to go back among the bullies (then to the storm).

Teachers in the school don’t seem to notice what is happening (the sentinels’ eyes are turned away their ears of stone do not hear).

When the school day is over, the bus takes the boy home (the wheels again) and the boy walks inside his house (and steps are taken).  Rather than finding relief though, the pain the boy experiences continues (nightmares continue during the day).

The bullies harass the boy through social media while others find it humorous and join in (through the glass the crowd jeers). The boy’s parents, seeing him as weak and not understanding the severity of the problem, don’t provide him any comfort (and comforting hands are somewhere else).

The boy goes to sleep (into the night) and finds some peace in the unconsciousness (a place of escape), but at the same time, he dreads the next morning (dreading the moment of the sun’s return).

This poem is about continued plight.  It is about someone feeling helpless.


If you like poems with explanations, M. Sakran has an eBook of them.  It is called Understanding: poems with explanations.  It is a collection of twenty original poems, with explanations of each of them. The main purpose of the book is to help readers expand their understanding of poetry through the explanations.

The poems in the book cover a variety of topics such as poverty, homelessness, pain, neglect, crime and illness.

The explanations look at the overall meanings of the poems, the meanings of individual parts of the poems, and form in the poems.


Poetry topic idea: Saint Nicholas

Today is Saint Nicholas day.  Happy Saint Nicholas day!

Santa Nicholas is the model for Santa Claus.  Saint Nicholas was Archbishop of Myra and was a wonderful person.  All should take the time to learn about Saint Nicholas.

As you learn about Saint Nicholas you can write poetry about him.  You could write about:

  • What he did at the Council of Nicea

  • Miracles attributed to him

  • The story of him helping the tree girls

  • How he compares to Santa Claus

  • Various groups he is the patron saint of

  • Various Saint Nicholas day celebrations

Here is a Saint Nicholas inspired poem:

Shoes left outside the door,
coins and candy found inside,
commemorating just one of the things,
you’ve done.

A photograph to inspire poetry: a gnat on a mirror

gnat on a mirror

Above is a photograph of a gnat on a mirror.  It can inspire poetry.  Here is a poem inspired by it:

think of this,
you know your face,
you’ve seen it thousands of times,
and yet,
you’ve never seen it directly,
you’ve never seen it just with your eyes,
the way you’ve seen your hand,
or your foot,
you’ve only seen it,
through a reflection,
through light that bounced back,
through some type of transfer,
through some type of transformation

despite its closeness,
there is a distance

Experimental Poetry Form: mirror

Today’s experimental poetry form is called mirror.  The poem has two stanzas, one on the left and one on the right.  Each stanza has three lines.  Each line has five words.  Each line in the right stanza, has the same words as the corresponding line in the left stanza, except the words are in the reverse order.  If each word is represented by a letter, here is what the form looks like:

A B C D E                                                            E D C B A
F G H I J                                                               J I H G F
K L M N O                                                          O N M L K

The trick to the form, is finding lines that make sense both forwards and backwards, and also make sense in stanzas.  It can help that poetry doesn’t always have to follow grammar rules.

Here is an example poem using the form:

Wilbur left Susan crying softly,                             Softly crying Susan left Wilbur,
rain and darkness surrounding all,                     all surrounding darkness and rain,
emptiness and sorrow covering quietly.            quietly covering sorrow and emptiness.

Poetry essay: Taking a break from poetry

If you write poetry on a regular basis, you may have at one time or another considered taking a break.  Maybe you felt burned out after writing so much.  Maybe you couldn’t think of something new to write.  Maybe you were busy with other things.  Whatever the reason, taking a break from writing poetry can have a number of potential benefits.  Some include:

  • Taking a break from writing poetry can give you time to develop new ideas. If you don’t write for a month or more, you can have time to build up a store of ideas from the experiences you have and what you see.

  • Taking a break can help you change your perspective. If you look back on your writing, you might notice differences in how you wrote and what you wrote about that developed over time.  This same situation can occur when you take a break.  Taking a break from writing poetry can give you a concentrated time to develop a new perspective and could help you enhance your work.

  • Taking a break can give you time to do other writing related things. Maybe you might write fiction and work on short stories for a while.  You might write nonfiction and explore different things.  Not only could this time be useful by itself, but the non-poetry writing you do, could help you enhance your poetry when you start it again.

  • Taking a break can give you time to read. When writing poetry on a regular basis, it’s possible you might not read it as much.  You could be so focused on your own work, that you don’t look at the work of others.  Taking a break could give you the opportunity to do this.  You could read books or poetry on blogs like this one.  You could find well know poets or look for those with less notoriety.  You might consider M. Sakran’s published book, First Try.  By reading poetry, you could learn to improve the poetry you write.

  • Taking a break can give you an opportunity to learn more about poetry. When a person does something, they can get so involved in doing the thing, that they don’t take the time to learn about the thing.  Think of a person who likes cooking.  They might cook a lot, but they don’t take the time to study cooking.  They don’t learn about different techniques and ingredients.  They don’t take the time to practice different skills and develop new ones.  This same idea can apply to poetry.
    A person could focus so much on writing poetry, that they don’t take time to learn about it.  With a break, you could have time to study poetic meter, different poetry forms, rhyming, or metaphor and symbolism.  You could take some time to read an eBook like Understanding: poems with explanations, from which you could learn.

Taking a break from writing poetry can have a number of benefits.  The time you spend not writing can have the potential to improve the writing you do once you start again.  You might consider taking a break and seeing how you benefit from it.

Poetry essay: Questions to ask a poet

Some of you may interview poets.  For example, you might have a blog in which you post interviews with poets whose work you have read.  You might also discover a poet and simply want to know more about them, their work, and poetry.  If something like this is the case, you might be wondering what kinds of questions you could ask a poet during an interview.  Here are some ideas:

Do you recall your first published poem or the first poem you posted online?  What was it?  What was it about?

Sometimes a poet can find themselves writing about the same subjects.  Examples of this might be writing about love or nature.  When you find yourself writing about the same subjects, how do you keep your poems fresh and different from each other?

Do you ever read poems you wrote months or years later?  If so, how do you feel about them when you do?  How do you interpret them?  Did your view of them change over time?

Could you explain a particular poem you wrote (suggest one)?  What is it about?  What does the symbolism mean?

Do you use form in your poetry?  If so, how so?  Do you use traditional forms?  Do you invent forms?  Do you develop a form as you write a poem?

How long does it take you to write a poem?  Do you write them at one time, or do you come back and revise them?

Are your poems more inward looking, focusing on your life and experiences, or are they more outward looking, focusing more on the world and society?

How has your work changed over time?  Are you writing about the same or different things?  How has the expression changed?

What kinds of poetry do you like to read?  What subjects do you like to read about?  What styles of poetry do you prefer?

Do you prefer poetry that is obscure, with a meaning hidden in symbolism, or do you prefer poetry that is overt, where the meaning is clear to the reader?

These are some ideas for questions.  Of course, you could ask other questions.  When asking questions, the idea should be to learn something.  It should be to learn something of value for yourself and for those who might read the answers you get.

If any readers would like to interview M. Sakran (via electronic text communication), please contact M. Sakran using the form on the Contact page.