Divided We Fall


Days of laughter have passed

For the sad old earth is dying


     The hills no longer sing a joyous thing.


Like split streams along the riverbed

The fabric of our existence is unraveling


     We use our breath to incite more death.


8 thoughts on “Divided We Fall

  1. Joshua, this is a very thought provoking bit of verse. Just wondering, are you drawn to dark imagry and feelings or is it just easier to write? Thanks for another great piece of poetry.

    1. That’s a thought provoking question. 🙂 First on the poem, I have been revisiting old tenants of political theory this week. I use to debate frequently on many beliefs, primarily relating to people’s need to function as a whole instead of squabbling like we generally do. However, I’m not sure the poem captures that. The few chosen words are as deep as the reader takes them, but could be applied in many areas. My main thought is that our differences don’t only divide our race (limiting our successes) but it also destroys everything we touch around us. People’s negativity brings destruction. The first step is to recognize how we are negative and what drives the emotion (most frequently our own response to unconscious fear, sadness, or avoidance of feeling hurt).
      As for myself, I am definitely a product of my environment, and my mind a conglomerate of the influences in my life through the years. While some of those have fit the mold of the troubled human, there have been glimpses of the good as well. I don’t know that I’m plagued by dark imagery, but I do find that it is more visceral and has greater bounds for learning and reflection than positive words. I can only assume this is because our brains are built to keep us alive and negative experiences are more vivid than positive because we must remember them to remain safe. I find myself wanting Utopia, but finding the immeasurable value in conflict and impending doom. I suppose we would never know light without dark. It’s quite the paradox.

  2. Michelle Mueller

    Oh thought-provoking, indeed! I’m a one of those strange people who reads a poem and starts searching for the poetic devices. In this case I was looking more at the rhyme: both internal and end-rhyme. The last line of the first stanza, which has “sing” and “thing” parallels the last line of the second stanza’s rhyming pattern of “breath” and “death”. And the same with the second lines in both stanzas — ending with the ‘ing’ rhyme. “Still” and “hill” too. Ah, wonderful! Were these intentional or intuitive choices?

    1. The first stanza was intuitive, and I nearly just stopped there, feeling the rhyme and words satisfied the emotion. But I didn’t feel it fulfilled my thought, so I attempted to mirror the rhyme pattern in the second stanza (intentionally) to bring more clarity. The second feels more forced to me, and I still don’t know that I captured what I wanted.

      It does sound like we share a similar weirdness. I read first for flow and surface interpretation, then analyze rhyme sequence, then a third time for deeper meaning.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

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