Poem with an explanation: he stopped barking

the dog’s ears itched
no one was there to clean them
he stopped barking


In this poem, on one level, there is a dog with itchy ears.  The dog’s ears itch because they are dirty.  The dog is alone, and for a while he barked hoping someone would help him and clean his ears.  Once he realized though that no one would come, he stopped barking.  He became resigned to the idea that he would get no help and his ears would itch.

On another level this poem is about the plight of an elderly person.  In the poem the elderly person has some physical condition that is causing them discomfort.  They need someone’s help to alleviate their condition.  They call out for help for a while, but when no one comes, they stop calling.  They become resigned to the fact that they are alone and that no one will help them.

The idea of the poem was to express a condition of helplessness.  It was expressed overtly through the plight of an animal, but that was a metaphor for the plight of a person.  In each case help is needed, it isn’t received, and sadly the circumstances are accepted.

An underlying idea of the poem is to encourage help for those that are neglected.

Poem with an explanation: The Plight of the Orange Spheres

behind the glass
nothing felt safe
the lion roared


This poem has three layers.

The first layer is just the poem itself and what it literally says.  In the poem, someone or some group is behind glass and they don’t feel safe from a lion.

The second layer, describes the literal situation more fully.  In the poem there are goldfish (orange spheres) that are in an aquarium.  They are afraid of a cat (lion) that is outside and wants to get them.

The third layer, relates to the coronavirus.  People are in their homes (behind glass), but don’t feel safe (nothing felt safe), from the virus (the lion).

The idea of the poem was to present three ideas with the same concept.

Post Series: The Poems with Explanations Series: Plight


In fear,
they wish they could run,
but they have no legs.

In dread,
they watch the sun,
knowing it will come.

The pain.
From each wound tears.

This happens,
and what is the reason?

This happens,
but why?

None others …
none others.

When was the day,
when was the start,
how can this end?

A message must be sent,
in a hope,
in a plea,
that the plight will end.


This poem is about crepe myrtle trees.  For some reason, there are those, who prune crepe myrtle trees very severely each year.  The trees are pruned by cutting all branches less that some thickness.  The trees look like poles stacked together.

Now, to be clear, a few points:

First, M. Sakran believes that people can prune their crepe myrtle trees however they please.

Second, M. Sakran is not a horticulturist or anything similar and so has no professional knowledge about this.

Third, M. Sakran understands that crepe myrtle trees, and their supposed plight, is a silly thing to focus on in a poem.

Despite these points though, M. Sakran believes that these trees are being prune improperly.  It just looks wrong.  No other tree, to M. Sakran’s knowledge, is pruned this way.  Crepe myrtle trees that are left to grow, or are pruned like other trees, can grow into big beautiful trees.  Crepe myrtle trees that are pruned as mentioned above, are short, and stubby, and always look damaged (in M. Sakran’s opinion).

Given this, M. Sakran felt the desire to write a poem with an explanation concerning this.   M. Sakran hopes two things are accomplished with this poem with an explanation. First, M. Sakran hopes the general goals of a poem with an explanation are achieved. M. Sakran hopes that readers learn something about poetry.  Second, M. Sakran hopes that some readers out there who have a crepe myrtle tree and prune it yearly by cutting most of it off, will stop and question the practice.  M. Sakran hopes that they will study, pursue professional advice, and give the practice some thought.  M. Sakran’s hope is that in the end, they will reconsider and stop the practice and let the trees grow.  If not, however, that at least they will understand more, why they do what they do.

Here is the explanation of the poem.

The poem is called Plight, because it is about the plight of the crepe myrtle trees.

The first stanza of the poem personifies the trees.  It talks about them having fear at the pruning to come.

The second stanza continues this and talks about the trees feeling the time until the pruning.

The third stanza talks about the pruning and uses the metaphor of tears to talk about sap running from pruning cuts.

The fourth stanza starts to question the practice.  The fifth stanza continues this.  Both stanzas have a sense of speechlessness.

In the sixth stanza a point is made in an exaggerated way that other trees are not pruned like this.  The poem uses the definite, none, but in reality there are probably some other trees pruned like this.

The seventh stanza questions how the pruning practice started and how can it be changed.

Third stanza is about the poem, the explanation, and the hope mentioned above.


P.S. Today on MSakran.com, there is a new set of photography, artwork, poetry and fiction.