How do you take care
of what passes through your life?

And where to you keep your cages?
What are the bars made of?
And what is the shape of the key –
and where to you keep it?

Where is your hidden vault? And
who knows that you even have one?

What sounds come from your captives
in the early mornings? And in the nights,
when you lie down to sleep?

What do they cost you in maintenance: the cages,
the vault? The captives themselves?

Why are they necessary: the cages,
the vault? The captives themselves?

When were you last unable to let go?
What forced your hand open in the end – or
is your hand still clenched as a fist?

Did this last lost captive have a heartbeat of its own – or
was it as solid as a diamond? Elusive as a stream?

What color are your mourning weeds? Or
are you still tracking it through a forest?


  1. oh dear Ren, I’m swimming in water I don’t know. I’m slow in many ways. I inhabit a space that’s often hard to say. if I or we say what we see will they think, just another coyote howling with the moon. wouldn’t be all so bad, seems to me. but long & short, you make me look, and I see I should be writing more than I do. uncomfortable tonight. but thanks. and OK, I can also see being afraid (more lies).

    Oh, this place you’ve made – it is beautiful.

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  2. Do you mean my poetry in general? The posts here aren’t intended to be poems. They are just writing prompts 🙂
    I was actually concerned that this one was so clear that my voice was too intrusive as a writing prompt.

    But, yeah, my poetry isn’t always accessible at first read either. I’m learning to move away from my academic/modernist habits these days.

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