“A Few Haiku (34)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley


domestic abuse
my seven-year-old self
learns to hate



sunflower song
a dirge for those
who shall never bloom



tank tracks in mud
scrawl across sunflower fields
calligraphy of war



spent brass shell casings
golden glitter in the streets
currency of death



we watch and wait
while children cry and die
thoughts and prayers are not enough



judgment day
we have no excuse for
what we have done

“She was Six”

“She was Six”
(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

she was six
and on the wrong side
of a tyrant’s bomb sights
her small broken body
no match for
the shells and the hell
that befell
her country
her blood the price
of freedom
she was six

she was six
and on the wrong corner
of the wrong intersection
at the wrong time
as gang-bangers
threw lead
and fled
as she bled
just a typical night
in a typical city
she was six

she was six
and in the wrong classroom
at the wrong school
as a true patriot
flexed his might
and exercised his 2A right
to murder school children
another day
in the USA
she was six

she was six
and the wrong color
at the wrong border
snatched from her parents
caged like an animal
lost in the system
as racist thugs
praise god and county
and build their wall
one sin at a time
she was six

she was six
and the wrong religion
in the wrong village
her captors didn’t care
she didn’t last long enough
to stain their conscience anyway
all in the name of god
she was six

she was six
and on the wrong side of town
hollow eyes and empty stomach
the manic cackle of inhumanity
the soundtrack of her life
bruised body and soul
this dark alleyway to hell
her only escape
she was six

we have lost our way

“A Few Haiku (33)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley


ursine winter’s claws
rend and tear and desecrate
yellow petals fall



this endless winter
memories of sunflowers
as the cities burn



children shall run free
in gilded sunflower fields
when this winter ends



glowing sunflowers
where there is light there is hope
we stand with Ukraine



sunflower seeds
plant the gardens of healing
watered with tears



cowards who start wars
shall die in ignominy
putin’s legacy