picasso-woman-with-fanYour mother would scold you

pick yourself up ugly child

clean your room, scrub and polish

until there is no room for doubt

you may be unloved but

you will keep a straight back and shiny shoes


and you

learned quicker than a mouse

can covet cheese and steal itself a piece

to keep yourself small and burning

for a time to pounce

back under the hot lights of attention

turn this way and that until you are

bronzed like an award you make yourself

for surviving


I am owed

you think as you spit on your reflection with shirt cuff

and shine it brand new

I am owed

for my childhood

all the taint it took, not to reduce to rubble

instead I built myself a fort and became unbreakable


because this world eats the tender-hearted

with morels and mustard for breakfast

crushes underfoot truth in her glass orb

it is better we inherit the sharp cold heart of our destroyers

lift up our skirts and cross the puddles

with insulated rubber boots

than wallow in the frigid water

wondering why

most of what we do and say is

superficial and a lie to

garner peace and stifle the dagger

aimed at our center


all good but for the gentle

soul who can no more hurt than

turn away from need

she who cups water in her hands

to feed the thirsty flower

struggling to grow through concrete

by the side of exhaust-ridden road

what miracles we behold

surviving against the odds

it is this solace

keeps us staying who we are

when the world would pitch fire

extinguishing mercy

leaving battlefields full

for crows to pick through

we endure, laying down our

arms, our faces pointed toward

the clouds and wait

for rain to pour down


66 thoughts on “Mercy

  1. soul who can no more hurt than
    turn away from need
    she who cups water in her hands
    to feed the thirsty flower
    struggling to grow through concrete
    by the side of exhaust-ridden road

    OH THIS IS BREATHTAKING! ❤ ❤ ❤ So much love for this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful poem! Haunting, magical and heartfelt. Having lived life with similar experiences, but advocating for others, my observation would be to learn to be strong (mirror / gird your self against the sharks and hard-hearted) but never ever let your own heart harden. Empathy is both a gift, and a curse, but wield well joy and succour to others.


  3. Candice I have fantasies of laying in a hammock on a gorgeous summer day sipping wine while you recite poetry to me. There should be a lake. And maybe some swans. And maybe good cheese and bread and apples. You get the idea.

    What a beautiful haunting and gorgeous piece. Particularly struck by: “because this world eats the tender-hearted/with morels and mustard for breakfast/crushes underfoot truth in her glass orb”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ah you ole romantic you (me too, I’m a total sucker for romance) I’d love to although my stupid accent mmm I will learn a new accent 😉 oh and the lake definitely we need a lake though no swans they attack that could be bad .. and food definitely a view without food is bleak indeed xo HUGS (love to you my talented wonderful friend)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So much truth. Gorgeous.
    An eternally frustrating dilemma for a world that desperately needs tender hearts! This reminds me of a heart breaking epitaph I saw on a couple of old headstones near goldfield ruins in New Zealand. If I remember rightly they were teenage girls who died. I wish I could remember the words but the gist was that they were too sweet for this cruel world. Who knows what on earth happened to those poor girls.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Have you seen that? Gosh its been ages since I have! But that’s in Australia… I think I read somewhere that they hold concerts there, but I need to double check. We stayed near there once but never actually visited.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes very spooky. Wish I could remember details, might have to watch it again.
        And that is a perfect description of Aussie and NZ films!
        Someone wrote a sequel to Hanging Rock, apparently it’s quite silly and ruined the whole mystique of it. I tend to shy from sequels, except the Shrek ones (I am a children’s movie fan hehe)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s an incredible film. I confess I’m watching Prisoner Cell Block H that’s an old Oz series too! ha ha! Really? Oh no! I had no idea that there was a sequal I will haev to track it down! I’m not one for sequels either. xo

        Liked by 1 person

      4. hahaha you’re watching Prisoner? I remember catching snippets of it when I was a youngun…sometimes I watch moments of reruns and laugh at how bad the acting is, but I never got into it. 🙂

        I’m trying to think, I’m not sure the sequel was made into movie, I believe someone just had the audacity to write a book, but honestly, I can’t remember.


      5. The Lego Movie is manic and crazy and just brilliant. I will definitely have to have a look at UP. Awwww I had a Paddington bear when I was little. I loved it. But I haven’t seen any current movies of it. I think I was afraid it would lose its charm for me if I did.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a poem that you can read over and over and find the nobility of man, even when the world is tainted by disgust. You write what many children go through, and you do it well. The word flow is enchanting, there is so much said, even more than the simple words. Well done.


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