Out of the depths

So much of what I write at the moment is influenced by the state of the world. Every image seems to have a dark side. This is another poem I wrote for this image by Dale Patterson for the Ekphrastic challenge. It also fits today’s OctPoWriMo prompt.

Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 17.04.06

Out of the depths they cried until their mouths filled with darkness, and

they flew. Silver paper wings butterflied them through the murky air,


until their throats filled with poison. We watched from our windows

shuttered against the change and chased them on and on and on,


watched the birds follow, wheel and wing away, voiceless and

childless with nothing in their feathers but despair.


We will wait behind our shuttered windows and watch the screen,

until all goes dark and the water rises, the water full of darkness.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

28 thoughts on “Out of the depths”

  1. One would hope that with mighty words like yours and many others right now, that ears are becoming tuned in. My brother song writer and staunch environmentalist has written performed and released an anti war song … a shock to watch, but a necessity I think. It never should be pretty. More are listening, more action is needed … the direction is slow but the road is being walked. X

    1. I think you’re right that more people are getting angry about what is done in their name. Sometimes I feel hopeful that they will prevail. Then I listen to the supporters of all the ugly small-minded grasping leaders baying for blood, and I feel despairing again.

  2. You are on the pulse of the times, Jane!
    In the current situation, I always like to think of a statement by an elderly clergyman. He said that if he has little money for the church he only has to preach about hell. 😉 Maybe our officials doing the same? Michael

      1. For the past its true. Said by our famous last Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, Gerhard Card. Müller. But after his demission from Vatican he renewed his meaning. LoL Dont forget, some months before the Pope motivated to pray “against the devil in the Vatican”. :-))

    1. I wish I could be more cheerful too. I’d have to stop listening to the news though and seeing the images. I’d have to close my eyes and ears to what’s outside my own windows.

      1. I wish everyone was moved by the same things. I hear so much mockery of disasters and destruction as if it didn’t happen, and even if it did, who cares?

  3. Hello Friend,
    Your words keep drifting through my mind, so I feel I must say a bit more.
    Words and the images that they bring forward have impact. The world is full of limitless causes (cause and effect is simple physics that describe the effects of all aspects of existence). The brains neurons change with each stimulation, so does its flavor (so to speak). So, with every image you create, and with every one you take in to yourself, change happens, within and without.
    I was very distressed to hear the word “mockery” in reference to other peoples pain. You describe minds that do not move easily toward compassion (the result of wisdom and love). It makes me sad, painfully sad. I want to impact that. So, I write, as do you.
    Years ago, when I lived in a very violent and frightening place, I decided that, given my few gifts and my very retiring personality, I would write and reach out with words.
    I look to beauty and to kindness as the antidote. I pass them on, and when I do let painful things in, I hold them gently until I can work with them too. Sometimes I must turn away before I am ready.
    Please keep walking forward with your beauty and the goodness of your creations, and I will ask forgiveness when I am too deeply moved now and again. None the less I AM moved.
    Your impact is powerful.
    As for the news? Well a grain of salt is sometimes not enough, eh?
    I look forward to your next post.

    1. There are few things that make me feel violent than the smug, mocking grin when some man (it’s always a man) tells me that my feelings about killing animals for fun, pulling up hedges so the machinery gets around the fields easier, spraying insecticide that kills everything, the migrants fleeing war, drowning in the sea, the Amazon burning, all are just figments of my sentimentality and are to be picked up gingerly, held at arms length and dropped in the bin.
      It isn’t that they believe they’re right. You can’t believe in something that’s manifestly wrong, it’s that they don’t want to look the truth in the face. They prefer the lies. It isn’t ignorance it’s wilful callousness.
      You are right to search for beauty and kind actions. It’s the only salve, the only way to cope with the ugliness and vacuity of the inside of people’s heads.

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