Poem with an explanation: the darkness of irrationality

The darkness of irrationality,
in the twilight of sensibility,
the sounds and glimpses,
transform and grow,
and there in the shadows,
where the metal turns,
translucent forms,
hide in the fog.


This poem is about someone being afraid.  They are home alone, at night, and a sense of fear comes over them.

The first line, The darkness of irrationality, shows that the person’s fear isn’t founded on anything specific.  They have a fear that there is someone outside their home who wants to come inside and do them harm.  The person though, isn’t afraid of someone they know, or someone nearby, or something they heard in the news.  They are simply afraid.  They have a fear of what might or could be.

The second line, in the twilight of sensibility, is meant to contrast with the first.  While the person’s general fear is irrational, the idea of their fear isn’t.  There could be someone outside.  There is the real possibility of a home invasion or some other kind of harm.  There is a sense of sensibility in the person being aware and cautious of the possibility.  The person though, goes to the level of irrationality in the sense that they are continuously afraid of the idea.

The first line and the second line are meant to show a contrast through their form.  Both lines are ten syllables long.  The first line has darkness, while the second has twilight.  The first line has irrationality, while the second has sensibility.  The equal lengths paired with the opposite words shows the contrast of the ideas.

The third line, the sounds and glimpses, describes the audial and visual things that increase the person’s fear.  The person hears many noises.  Their heater makes a noise.  Their refrigerator makes a noise.  The house creaks.  They also see things like reflections or things out of the corner of their eye.  These things are interpreted by the person as signs of what they fear.  They believe each noise is someone outside and each sight might be someone inside.

The fourth line, transform and grow, refers to the sounds and glimpses of the third line.  As the person grows more afraid, the idea of what could be causing the sounds and glimpses grows.  The person becomes more afraid with each instance.

The fifth and sixth lines, and there in the shadows, where the metal turns, describes the unseen places of the person’s house.  They imagine that there is someone outside of these places trying to get in.  This “getting in” is described as a lock turning or, where the metal turns.  They have the horror movie image of a lock slowly turning, in their mind.

The eighth line, translucent forms, describes who the person is afraid of.  It is a vague image of a person.  It is what they imagine an intruder would look like.  It is a composite of criminal images they have seen.  The image is vague and not defined because the person is afraid of an idea more than of an actual person.  The vagueness is shown through the idea of the forms being translucent.

The last line, hide in the fog, shows that, partially, the person is afraid of the unknown.  They are afraid of what they can’t see outside.  Also, it shows the confusion of their fear.

This poem is about a person afraid alone at night in their house.  The idea of it is to describe, in some sense, the haziness of the person’s fear.  The person is afraid, but their fear, in some sense, isn’t based on anything substantial.  The person is mainly afraid of the possibility of something.  They, in some sense, want to be on guard for it.

The poem isn’t meant to criticize the person for their fear.  Describing the fear as irrational isn’t meant to imply that the person is.  The idea of the poem is meant to describe how an irrational fear can grow, even in a rational person, under certain conditions.

P. S. Do you like poems with explanations? Did you know that M. Sakran has an eBook of them?  It is true.  You can learn more about the eBook and purchase a copy from here: Understanding: poems with explanations.


Poem with an explanation: magnets change

There were words,
and words,
with the changing of the magnets

far off,
in the dim lights,
with 4 and 10,
the spotlight,
on the (intentional) accident

and not one,
but many,
like local news

and the grain,
against the grain,
shattering on the ground

and words,
and accidents,
and grains,




But …


in solitary confinement,
silence whispers,
and battles rage,

and magnets change,
and battles rage

the lions roar,
but a cage is built

the hurricane blows,
but the building stands

the grain is changed,
and bread is eaten

and magnets change,
among it all.


And …


a learning,
then a question,
a magnifying glass,
held up,
and down,

the words of others,
the lawyers stand,
a speech is given,
but by the sea,
it is unknown.


The magnets change,
and the magnets change,
and then a door,
does open.


This poem is about a husband and wife.  It is about the husband’s negative treatment of his wife and how that and their relationship progresses with time.  The poem is divided into four sections.

The first section describes the husband’s mistreatment of his wife.  He is verbally abusive (There were words, and words) and this has been something that has gone on for some time (with the changing of the magnets – magnets refers to refrigerator calendar magnets, the changing of which signifies the progression of time).

In addition to this constancy, there have also been a number of negative incidents.  An example is given in the second stanza.

The stanza describes a party after a wedding (far off, in the dim lights, with 4 and 10far off means they traveled, in the dim lights signifies the party, and with 4 and 10 represents that a DJ is there (D is the fourth letter of the alphabet and J is the tenth)).

At the party, the husband has an incident where he embarrasses and mistreats his wife.  It is an awkward noticeable moment (the spotlight, on the (intentional) accident).  The husband’s behavior is like a car accident in that people at the wedding can’t help but notice, but it is intentional behavior, which is unlike an accident.

This isn’t the only incident like this the husband has had.  His behavior has been this way over and over.  It is like the mention of accidents on the local news (and not one, but many, like local news).

In addition to all this, the husband drinks (and the grain – grain signifying alcohol).  His drinking negatively affects his behavior (against the grain) and like a bottle shattering on the ground it leads to negative bursts in his behavior.

All of these things continue (and words, and accidents, and grains) until finally his wife leaves him (alone).

The next section starts after the But.

When the man is alone (in solitary confinement) he begins to feel his conscience (silence whispers).  This starts an internal struggle within himself (and battles rage) that is unseen by others.

This struggle takes time (and magnets change, and battles rage), but eventually the man repents.

He learns to control what he says (the lions roar, but a cage is built), he stops having outburst in public (the hurricane blows, but the building stands) and he stops drinking (the grain is changed, and bread is eaten).

As time changes (and the magnets change) so does the man (among it all).

The next section starts after the And.

The wife learns of her husband’s change (a learning).  She questions its reality (then a question).  She examines his behavior (a magnifying glass, held up) and questions her feelings (and down – as in she is looking down through the magnifying glass at herself).

The friends and family of the woman speak to her about the situation (the words of others).  They speak against the man and the sincerity of his change (the lawyers stand).  They give what amounts to a collective speech against him (a speech is given).  The woman though is unsure of herself and what she should do (but by the sea, it is unknown).

The poem ends with ambiguity.  In the last section of the poem, time has passed (The magnets change, and the magnets change).  The man checks in different ways to see if his wife will come back to him (and then a door, does open).  The poem though, ends with just the door opening.  It doesn’t say if the wife is on the other side when it does.

P. S. If you like explained poems, please consider purchasing a copy of M. Sakran’s self-published eBook, Understanding: poems with explanations.

Poem with an explanation: among the sands

The stars,
did not align,
as forests grew,
and cardinals cried,
among blue jays.

the camels wandered,
among the sands,
as blind men spoke,
of what they could,
no longer see.

The flock of birds,
among the trees,
saw in the sand,
haphazard paths,
but none did call,
with words or songs.

Mirages shimmered,
in the sun,
during the night,
that would not end.

The camels wandered,
among the sands,
and over the hills,
they disappeared.


This poem is about a man experiencing sadness after the death of his young daughter.  His daughter died, some weeks before, and the man is struggling with everything.

In his sorrow, the man has lost track of time (The stars, did not align), he has stopped shaving (as forests grew), and often his clothes don’t match (and cardinals cried, among blue jays).

The man symbolically, and at times literally, stumbles as he moves forward in his life (Aimlessly, the camels wandered, among the sands).  He keeps thinking of his daughter and can see her in his thoughts (as blind men spoke, of what they could, no longer see).

People who know the man (The flock of birds, among the trees), see his condition (saw in the sand, haphazard paths), but they don’t have the words to say to him (but none did call, with words or songs).

The man keeps thinking of his daughter, but her image in his mind is blurry (Mirages shimmered, in the sun) as it is overwhelmed with his sadness (during the night, that would not end).

The man aimlessly moves on with his life (The camels wandered, among the sands) and the condition he is in, seems unending (and over the hills, they disappeared).

Poem with an explanation: among the planets

There’s a counting,
is it a fortnight?
There’s a counting,
every other Mars.
But one is missed –
what is that,
a cycle of the Moon?

The sandy beaches,
of a moon of Jupiter,
an imagined place,
of forgetfulness.

in the silence of a cave,
of Pluto,
as if transported,
from place and time,
watching the Sun,
go in circles and circles,
as night approaches.


This poem is about an elderly person in a nursing home.  The person is supposed to be visited by their family every other Tuesday, but their family missed the last visit.

In the poem, it is the fifth Tuesday.  The person’s family came on the first Tuesday.  They were supposed to come on the third Tuesday, but did not.  Now it is the fifth Tuesday, which is the next scheduled visit day.

The poem starts with a question, There’s a counting, is it a fortnight?  The elderly person is trying to think about how often their family visits.  They wonder what a time period name for every other Tuesday might be.  They have trouble counting the days, but think that it might be called a fortnight, which is fourteen days.  They are somewhat upset and aren’t able to focus and know how many days it really is.

The elderly person continues to think about the time between visits.  They describe “every other Tuesday” as “every other Mars.”  Tuesday, in Spanish is called Martes, which is a reference to Mars.  The idea of astronomy as a background idea continues in the poem.

They then describe the idea that one of the visits was missed (But one is missed).  Again, they are having trouble counting and wonder if that is a month between visits (what is that, a cycle of the Moon?).  This again is an astronomy idea in the background.

The poem then partially shifts perspectives.  In the next stanza, there is a blurring of the point of view of the elderly person and that of their family.

The elderly person imagines their family being somewhere fun and far away (The sandy beaches, of a moon of Jupiter).  Their thoughts are imaginary though (an imagined place).  Their family is just out living their lives as normal.  The place though, and this is a blending of the viewpoints, is one of forgetfulness.  The elderly person imagines their family forgetting them, and, for the most part, at least at times, their family does.

The perspective then shifts back to the elderly person.  They think of their reality as, “Alone, in the silence of a cave, of Pluto“.  The person is alone, as in the sense that they have no company.  They have no one to talk to (in the silence), and they feel hidden (of a cave).  The place the person is at is described as being of Pluto.  Pluto, at one time, was the farthest planet from the Sun.  This describes the person’s separation from their family.  Also, Pluto is no longer a planet.  This idea describes the sense of demotion the person feels in their sense of abandonment.  The detachment and separation the person feels is further described as if transported, from place and time.

The elderly person is in their room and they feel the days pass.  This is described as “watching the Sun go in circles and circles“.  The person has a sense that they will die soon (as night approaches).  There’s a sense of dejection.


This poem, in some sense, is about neglect by apathy.  The person’s family sees the elderly person as an obligation.  They see them as something that takes up time.  They feel the visits are a burden.  This is demonstrated in part by the fact that the visits are scheduled and sparse.

The person’s family isn’t mean in a sense.  They just feel detached from the elderly person.  They don’t feel a strong connection.  Seeing the person is almost viewed like completing community service to them.

The poem focuses on the perspective of the elderly person.  There is the idea, that a missed visit is very important to them, but not important to their family.

Astronomy was used in the poem as a descriptive tool.  The idea was to make the feelings of the person seem larger in a way.

Poem with an explanation: hiding

At five,
before light,
packed up,
to the car,
moved some,
changed the shirt,
pack held,
bathroom time,
one check,


This poem is about a homeless man.  He was evicted from his apartment, but can’t afford to move somewhere else.  He has a job, and finds a way to live at work.  He goes to efforts to hide this from his coworkers.

The poem starts, At five.  The man wakes up at five a.m. from where he sleeps in the warehouse that he works in.  He has made a space for himself in one of shelving areas.  He wakes up this early because no one will be at work.

The next line, before light, goes with the first, and implies that he does things in darkness to avoid being seen.

The third line, packed up, describes the man packing up his sleeping items from where he was in the warehouse.

In the fourth line, to the car, the man takes these items and hides them in his car.

He then moves his car (moves some), so that his coworkers won’t see his car always in the same spot.  The idea is for them to think that he goes and comes to work.

After the man moves his car, he changes his shirt (changed the shirt).  Because he works in a warehouse, and wears blue jeans and work boots to work, he doesn’t have to change the rest of his clothes.

He then takes a pack of toiletries (pack held), and goes to the bathroom (bathroom time) to shave and wash and make himself look clean.

He lastly checks how he looks before he leaves (one check).

The poem ends by implying that the man was successful in hiding his homelessness.  The word diligence describes the diligence of his behavior but also describes how he is seen by his superiors at work.  They notice that he is the first to arrive each morning and the last to leave.  They see him as a good employee.

The idea of the poem is to describe how the man thinks others will view his homelessness.  He feels that it would be detrimental if his coworkers or superiors found out.  He is worried about the social consequences as well as if he would lose his job.  He believes that his situation is temporary, in that he will be able to save money while he lives rent-free at work and that he will be able to rent an apartment soon.  He also feels that how he lives is the best solution to his temporary problem.  He feels that hiding his temporary situation will be the best thing for him.

The idea of the poem is to have the social view of homelessness in the background of the man’s actions.

In terms of form, this poem uses the experimental poetry form: two and three from this blog.  The short lines had an effect on the presentation of the ideas.

P. S. If you like poems with explanations, please consider showing your support by purchasing a copy of Understanding: poems with explanations. It is available for a price of $0.99 (plus applicable tax if any). It would be a small thing you could do to show you like this type of work.

Poem with an explanation: Why not wear blue?

“Why not wear blue?”

“Because it wouldn’t work.”

“Have you tried it?”

“No, but why would a person try that?  It wouldn’t work.”

“How do you know unless you try?”

“You could justify any idea with that.”

“Just give it a try.”

“Just to prove it doesn’t work?”

“You don’t know that.”

“It’s obvious.”

“You just don’t want to succeed.”

“You just keep criticizing when your advice isn’t taken.”

“If you really wanted to change you would try it.”

“Just go away.”


This poem is a simplification of a conversation between two people.  In the poem one person has something about themselves they have been trying to change for some time.  It could be losing weight, for example.

The person has been working toward this goal for some time, with little success.  Because of this, people have started giving them advice.  Having heard what they consider to be random and bad advice too many times, the person gets frustrated when they hear it.  The people giving advice, viewing themselves as just wanting to help, wonder why their advice isn’t being followed, and since it isn’t being followed, they question the level of motivation of the other person.  The conversations come with frustration, and generally follow the pattern of the poem.

In the first line of the poem, the advice giver gives some piece of advice.  They heard it somewhere.  Maybe on a morning news show or from a magazine.  A celebrity said it.  The advice giver values this kind of advice.

The person with the situation, says that the advice wouldn’t work.  They view the advice as random.  They have a disdain for “tips and tricks” types of advice.  Having struggled to make a change, they view advice that claims to make things easy with suspicion.

The person giving the advice then questions the other person.  They ask if they have tried the advice.  They are implying a way of thinking that they will ask later, “How does a person know something won’t work unless they’ve tried it.”

The person with the situation responds by basically stating that the advice is bad.

The other person then states their advice philosophy, “How do you know unless you try?”

The one with the situation though resents this idea.  Having heard, from their perspective, all sorts of outlandish and random advice, they view this with resentment.  Their rebuttal is to extend the philosophy.  They say that if the only way to know if something works is to try it, then that would justify trying anything, no matter how absurd it might be.

The advice giver doesn’t see things that way though.  As far as they are concerned, they got the advice from a source they trust.  Also, they view the advice as harmless.  They feel that if it works, things will be better, and if it doesn’t, little will be lost.

This though makes the person with the situation more frustrated.  They feel like they are constantly being called upon to prove bad advice doesn’t work.  They feel like they have been repeatedly given bad advice and then asked to test it out.  They are tired of it.

The advice giver though, holds on to the idea that a person can’t really know if something works or not, unless they try it.

The person with the situation though sees this as a faulty way of thinking.  To them the advice is obviously bad, and there is no reason to go through the motion of proving it just to satisfy someone else.

At this point, the advice giver themselves becomes frustrated.  Because the person with the situation won’t take what they think is good advice, they question the person’s motivation to succeed.  They are basically thinking that if the person does not want to take their advice, the only reason must be that the person does not really want to change.

The person with the situation though resents this.  As far as they are concerned, this is a pattern they have heard before.  They get bad advice, they don’t take it, and they are criticized for it.  They are tired of getting what they perceive to be weird and random suggestions, and then being criticized for not following them.

The person giving the advice comes back to their refrain.  They hold onto the idea that advice that seems harmless should be tried.  They can’t see what it would hurt.

The other person, being tired of the conversation and of constantly feeling like they have to defend their actions, tells the person to go away.

This poem is about what may be a familiar situation in life, that of giving and getting advice.  It examines the idea of advice being given over an extended period of time.  It looks at the different points of view and the frustration.

P. S. If you like poems with explanations, consider purchasing a copy of Understanding: poems with explanations.

Poem with an explanation: Two women

sitting on the chair,
in the silence of the room,
back to the story

sitting on the chair,
in the music of the room,
back to the story


This poem contrasts the experiences of two women.  Before the poem begins, both women are in similar circumstances.  Both women are invited to the same party.  Both women are introverts and don’t do well in social situations.  They have a hard time talking to strangers, they are not knowledgeable of popular culture, and they don’t communicate well in large groups.

Under these circumstances, the first woman (the one in the first stanza) decides not to go to the party.  She feels that if she goes, she won’t be able to talk to others or interact with a large group, and that she will feel uncomfortable or lonely.

The second woman (the one in the second stanza) decides to go to the party.  She feels lonely at home and thinks that she might meet people and make friends at the party.  She believes that she will feel part of a group if she goes and that she will feel less lonely going than if she stayed at home.

In the poem, it turns out that the first woman made the better decision.

When the poem starts, it is an hour into the party.  The first woman, as described in the first stanza, is sitting at home in a chair.  She is reading a novel.  There is a point where she realizes she is alone, when she notices the silence in the room.  For a moment this makes her feel lonely, but then she escapes into the story of her novel.

The second woman, as described in the second stanza, is sitting alone in a chair at the party.  She is a wallflower.  Although she had wanted to interact with others, her shyness and lack of social skills prevents her.  Also, no one at the party initiates interaction with her.

The second woman is sitting by herself, and she notices the music of the room.  There is talking and dancing and music and a party going on around her.  She isn’t part of it though, and sitting there makes her feel awkward.  She feels self-conscious and thinks that people are noticing her by herself.  She doesn’t know where to look or what to do so that she doesn’t look like she is doing nothing.  As a means of escape, she daydreams.  When she daydreams, she has moments where she feels like she is no longer in the room, and it provides her comfort.

In the poem, the first woman is able to be more comfortable and feel less lonely, ironically, because she is alone.  Unlike the second woman, who has her aloneness accentuated by people around her who seem to be a group she is not part of, the first woman is better able to ignore the fact that she is alone because there is no one there to remind her of it.

In terms of form, this poem is made up of two poems.  Each stanza is a 5/7/5 haiku.

Both stanzas are almost identical.  There is only one word of difference between the two.  The first stanza has “silence” and the second has “music”.  In a twist from how the poem might at first be read, the silence of the first stanza turns out to be less lonely causing than the music of the second.


P. S.  M. Sakran was wondering if anyone would be interested in participating in a poem with an explanation collaboration. The basic idea would be that a person would write a poem, and M. Sakran would write an explanation of it.  The details would have to be worked out, but it might be something that could be interesting.  If anyone is interested in this idea, please contact M. Sakran using the form on the Contact Page.  Thank you.

Poem with an explanation: the deaths of silence and regret

Numbers in a row,
a transposition,
a travel down the lane,
and the mountain appears.

The fire stops burning,
a descent,
the drawbridge lowers,
and the rocks are piled.

From within the cave,
the eyes open,
the sound of bells,

Traveling on,
looking out,
seeing the sight,
and the meter rises.

Still by the bridge,
the rocks move on,
of the storm.

Something is taken,
and steps run,
it all flashes,
and then a stop.

Roaring and roaring,
the lion yells,
its teeth are shown,
and an order given.

Still by the bridge,
the rocks move on,
of the storm.

The roar again,
the clocks are off,
the lion bites,
and silence falls.

Silence sees,
and asks,
the lion roars,
and speaks.

Silence tries,
but can’t,
silence tries,
but dies.

The lion heaves,
and pants,
its teeth glare,
as it calls out.

Seasons pass.

Regret stands still,
hearing the words,
asking the questions,
then led away.


This poem tells a story.  It is the story of two people who die.

In the poem, a deaf person is driving to a house to pick up items that were left outside.  He has arranged with someone to get somethings.  He is going to pick up furniture and other items.

In the first stanza, he is driving along.  He has an address (Numbers in a row).  There is a mistake though, and two of the numbers were mixed up (a transposition).  Because of this, he goes to the wrong house.  He drives down a one lane road (a travel down the lane) and when he sees a house with items outside (and the mountain appears) that matches the address he has, he thinks he has the right place.

He stops his truck (The fire stops burning), gets out (a descent), opens the back (the drawbridge lowers), and starts loading the truck (and the rocks are piled).

Inside the house (From within the cave), the owner of the house wakes up (the eyes open and awakens) when he hears the noise (the sound of bells).

The man inside the house, goes to the window (Traveling on), looks outside (looking out), sees the other man loading things in a truck (seeing the sight) (the things were outside because the man in the house was doing some work on his house.  He needed the items out of the house so he could change his floors.), and he gets very angry (and the meter rises).

The deaf man is still by his truck (Still by the bridge) loading items (the rocks move on).  He is unaware (unaware) that the man inside is angry (of the storm).

The man inside gets a gun (Something is taken), he runs outside (and steps run), everything is a blur (it all flashes) and he stops some feet away from the man loading the truck (and then a stop).

The man with the gun yells for the other man to stop loading the truck (Roaring and roaring, the lion yells), he points his gun (its teeth are shown), and he tells the other man to stop or he’ll shoot (and an order given).

The deaf man doesn’t see the man with the gun because the man with the gun is behind him and to one side, and he doesn’t hear him because he is deaf.  He keeps on loading the truck (Still by the bridge, the rocks move on, unaware, of the storm).

The man with the gun yells again (The roar again).  He doesn’t pause or stop afterward (the clocks are off), but rather, in his anger, fires his gun (the lion bites).  The bullet hits the deaf man and he falls (and silence falls).

The deaf man rolls over and looks up at the man with the gun (Silence sees).  With his eyes he asks “Why?”, as in why was he shot (and asks).  The man with the gun yells some more (the lion roars) and he tells the man on the ground that he is a thief and that he should have stopped when he was told (and speaks).

The deaf man, tries to understand what happened (Silence tries), but can’t (but can’t).  He tries to stay alive (silence tries), but he dies (but dies).

The man with the gun is spent and out of breath (The lion heaves and pants), he holds his gun tightly (its teeth glare) and he calls out to someone else in the house to call the police (as it calls out).

Time passes (Seasons pass).  The police come, they investigate and they arrest the man who shot.  Time passes and the man goes on trial.

At the trial, the man who shot stands up (Regret stands still).  The jury says he is guilty of murder and the judge sentences him to death (hearing the words).  He asks with regretful confusion how was he to know it was a mistake and the man was deaf (asking the questions) and then they lead him away (then led away).


This poem examines how a mistake, a misunderstanding, an overreaction and a lack of communication lead to the death of two people.


P. S. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the self-publication of M. Sakran’s eBook Understanding: poems with explanations. If you like poems with explanations, then consider purchasing a copy of the eBook.

Poem with an explanation: heart

Cotton and rivers,
clay and waterfalls,
a tree with roots,
and then a fall.

Broken bells,
windless chimes,
a pile of leaves,
upon the ground.

Sun and Earth,
light and dark,
the drawbridge descends,
and villagers return.

Moments and moments,
light the fires,
moments and moments,
the statues crumble.

Something more,
something said,
the fog descends,
and the story ends.


This poem tells a story.  It is about a person who had a heart attack.

The first stanza starts, with the person going about daily chores.  The person does laundry (Cotton and rivers – cotton being clothes and rivers being the washing of the machine), dishes (clay and waterfalls – clay being the ceramic dishes and waterfalls being the faucet) and they mop (a tree with roots – a mop).  In the middle of the mundane, the person has a heart attack (and then a fall – the person falls to the ground).

In the second stanza, the person tries to cry out (Broken bells – the person makes distorted noises because of the pain, like a broken bell would make a distorted noise).  Then they become silent (windless chimes – chimes without wind are silent).  They are still upon on the ground (a pile of leaves, upon the ground – leaves are still and in a disorganized pile, like the person upon the ground in pain.  Also, a pile of leaves is generally a pile of dead leaves.  This shows the seriousness of the person’s condition).

Time passes (Sun and Earth – the movements of the Sun and Earth indicate time).  It goes from daytime to evening (light and dark).  At some point the front door opens (the drawbridge descends), and the person’s family returns from wherever they were (and villagers return).

When the family returns and sees the person on the ground, they have a number of moments (Moments and moments).  They have moments of shock, of fear, of disbelief, and of panic.  They call for help (light the fires – like signal fires).  They have more moments (moments and moments).  The situation overwhelms them (the statues crumble).

At this point, rather than bringing the story to a defined conclusion, the poem ends with ambiguity.  More things happen (Something more, something said), but whatever that is, it isn’t clear (the fog descends).  The story ends (and the story ends) with this ambiguity.

The idea of ending the poem this way, is that the people in the poem are filled with ambiguity (among other emotions) when they find the person on the ground.  They don’t know what will happen.  In this case, neither does the reader.

In terms of form, the poem is five stanzas long.  Each stanza has four lines.  All of the lines are between two and four words long.  In stanzas three and four, all of the lines are three words long.  In stanza four, lines one and three are the same.

Poem with an explanation: guilt

On the outskirts,
hearing the thunder,
seeing the lightening,
and in the darkness,

In the light of morning,
through the glass,
a breeze is blowing,
and all is calm.

In the light of morning,
through the glass,
the river rages,
and all is gone.

In the field,
having dodged the bullet,
seeing the form,
upon the ground.

It seems injustice,
to sit in the breeze,
while the river rages,
so nearby.

It seems injustice,
to feel the thoughts,
then turn the eyes,
to something new.


This poem is about the guilt that comes with being near a natural disaster, but not severely impacted by it personally.  Think of someone, for example, in the area where Hurricane Harvey hit, but they and their home are fine.  They see all the devastation on television and feel a sense of guilt that, although they are part of it, they aren’t experiencing what others are experiencing.

In the first stanza, the person is on the outskirts of the impacted area.  They hear the thunder and see the lightening, as the storm happens around them.  At night, they look out at the rain, and wonder if their house will flood.

In the second stanza, the day after the rain ends, the person, in the morning, looks out their window and sees nice weather and that all is peaceful.  Their home did not flood.

In the third stanza, after the person looks through their window, they turn on their television.  They see the flood waters and the destruction.

The fourth stanza switches the scene.  It uses the metaphor of a battlefield.  The person in the poem is shown as standing in a battlefield.  They have just had the terrifying moment of being closely missed by a bullet.  As they stand there in shock, they see someone dead next to them, who the bullet hit.  This is a metaphor for their situation.  The storm came near to them, but impacted someone else.

In the fifth stanza, the person feels guilt that they are alright, while nearby, there is devastation.

In the sixth stanza, the person realizes how they feel.  They realize that they feel bad about what is happening, but more so, that they will soon turn to something else.  They feel bad that they are going to get on with their lives as if nothing happened.

In terms of form, the poem has six stanzas.  The first stanza has five lines and all of the rest have four.  The first two lines of stanzas two and three are the same.  In stanzas two and three, the first three words of the fourth lines are the same.  The first lines of stanzas five and six are the same.