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POETRY: BLOOD-SPATTERED BANNER AND OTHER WORKS

POETRY: BLOOD-SPATTERED BANNER AND OTHER WORKS

Have A Good One

A good day – not because everything is positive, but because today, you won’t let the negatives win.

A good night – one that turns into a good morning. Crawl into bed while birds are chirping.

A good sleep – one filled with dreams that will make you wake with a smile.

A good breakfast – because it really is the most important meal.

A good dance – even if you can’t dance. Especially if you can’t dance.

A good idea – one that makes you say “woah,” that scares you a little. But go with it, and don’t let anyone stop you.

A good book – one that makes you think, makes you feel. One that takes you to another world. If you can’t find the book, write it.

A good chat – with your mother, lover, the old friend you haven’t seen in years. Make the call, send the text, write the letter because you lost their number. Just have the chat.

A good cry – because sometimes you just need to. So open the wine and throw on “The Lion King,” because sometimes you just need to.

A good lesson – because big or small, we should all learn something new every day.

A good life – One you are happy with. That may contain mistakes but look what you have learned from them.

A good soul – Don’t be the reason for someone else’s unhappiness. And if you are, say sorry – and mean it.

Today, you can be who you want and make of this day as you wish. Just make it a good one.

 

 

Breathe

Once, in a writing exercise we had to choose an animal that represented us.

And while others said things like “I’m a bear ’cause I’m always hungry for success,” I hadn’t a clue.

So I said “Penguin, because who doesn’t like penguins.”

Today I came to the realization that I am a shark.

Constantly moving forward because if I don’t, I’ll die.

If I’m not busy I will suffocate with my thoughts.

Of family, myself, the boy I miss.

Worries about others, sometimes strangers, weigh me down.

Too heavy so I have to hurry on leaving them behind.

Ruthless like the Great White.

But that brings it’s own baggage.

Keeping busy is important.

Attending open mics, making plans with different friends, meeting up with guys I know aren’t good for me.

It all takes up time, energy.

Less of it to spend on sad things, sad people, sad thoughts.

I’ll make plans that stretch from one end of the ocean to the other.

Knowing there’s an end goal helps me to keep moving.

Helping others makes me happy.

Moving constantly through the waters you are always surrounded by others.

You can’t be lonely if you’re not alone, right?

So I follow the advice of a blue cartoon and just keep swimming.

Because the moment I stop I am alone in the dark.

The weight of the world above crushing me, taking everything last breath I have.

 

 

Blood-Spattered Banner

August 1966
The first of many starts in Texas
Starting your day, walking to school with mates
And ending it, walking by your dead mates
Off to the cinema with your girl
Giving your life to protect her
Heading to work, the bills gotta get paid
Your fired colleague takes you out in his rage
Out to dance the night away
Then someone takes your life away

18 mass shootings this year alone
But only two made it to my social media platform
’cause if you’re just maimed or injured it’s not enough to make us care
And if you’re black or latino
Well then, who cares?

The American dream
Work hard and you can become anything
But before you can even tackle obstacles like gender, class or race
You have to make sure to stay alive long enough to graduate.

Eight-year-olds in Ireland preparing for their communion,
Rehearse walking up to the altar and the ever important placement of your hands – left over right
Eight-year-olds in America preparing for their next attack
Rehearse hiding behind chairs and in cupboards
To be come invisible

In hopes that the man with the gun won’t see them
In hopes he’ll move on to the next classroom

Just another drill this generation has to learn
But shooters start their rampage after pulling the alarm
So students filing into halls get gunned down
All because they obeyed the rules that they’ve been shown

The places and numbers seem to change but the weapon of choice remains the same
“Guns don’t kill, people do”
Yeah but you’d find it harder to kill 50 people with a knife, wouldn’t you?

If their skin was dark or they prayed to the prophet
You can guarantee the nation would have f*cking lost it
“Terrorism!” They’d roar while polishing their metal
“The second amendment protects my right to defend myself”
Your semi-automatic that fires hundreds of bullets in minutes?
If this is your defense, who is your monster?

The NRA has more fangirls than Taylor
Only difference is her warriors’ weapon is the keyboard
They flaunt their right to bear arms in grieving communities
In the wake of the latest tragedies
Fuck you and your soapbox telling us your arsenal is more important than people’s lives
Over compensating with Ms and ARs,
Do your country a favor and just buy a f*cking sports car

Congress sits in the pockets of the NRA
They don’t need your thoughts and prayers
They need policies and change

America
Land of the free and home of the brave
But this freedom that you boast of
Is putting kids in the grave

 

 

Tell Me

Tell me I’m wrong. About us. That I over thought, everything.
Tell me I imagined it, the connection. That I romanticised seemingly normal conversations.
Tell me the sex wasn’t really that good. That this, was just sex.
Tell me all the sh*t you said, was just that.
Tell me you don’t miss me. That you don’t wanna see me again.
Tell me you don’t actually think that this could be something to fill both our hearts.
Tell me I was just a f*ck, a rebound.
Tell me I should move on.

Tell me. Tell me.

Tell me.

 

The Girl Won’t Delete Your Texts

We keep the texts they sent us.
Declaring their love.
Showing off to our friends, giggling.
Home alone we would read them back, smiling.

The women before us kept the letters.
Holding the physical proof for when the spoken words became nothing more than a memory.

Using them to torture ourselves.
To bring us new hope.

The power of yours words.
The brutality of your indifference.

 

Almost Is Never Enough

Almost is never enough.
Because almost loving someone is not loving someone.
People don’t wanna hear about how you really liked him.
You can’t miss someone who was never really yours.
Nor can you grieve for something that never was.
You don’t get to be sad for something that’s now just a bunch of poems.
No one cares about ‘what ifs.’
It doesn’t matter how close you were to the finish line. You didn’t win.
So as far as anyone is concerned, you didn’t compete.
You are not allowed to mourn for something that could have been.
And it does not matter, that he could have almost loved you too.

Because almost is never enough.

 

 

 

Author: Kasey Shelley
Email: kaseyshelley@live.ie
Author Bio: Kasey Shelley is a writer and poet from Dublin, Ireland. She writes about love, heartbreak, mental health and being a woman. She performs regularly in Dublin’s spoken word scene. She is a huge horror fan and loves spending time with her family and friends.
Link to social media or website: Facebook @Kaseysscribbles

 

 

 

 

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