I am thrilled to have been chosen as featured poet for my contribution to yesterday’s NaPoWriMo prompt. It was an unexpected pleasure.

I didn’t know Kay Ryan, the poet whose work inspired today’s prompt, and I’m not sure this captures the right spirit, but it’s how I feel.


It seems to me
(though the opinion is only mine)
that this is no time
for aphorisms
the clever observation
that has no spine
only a smile in a mirror.
It seems to me
the wry humour
is misplaced when
children are dying
next to their dead mother
in bombed basements
rubble falling
(our shame)
(you know, don’t you?)
each missile
in each fighter jet
is signed with a name.
Have you found yours yet?

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.

34 thoughts on “Reflections”

    1. Glad you approve, Gloria xx
      I hear a lot of people talking about the power of poetry and how words can change the world. Well, they won’t if we only ever talk about nice safe things.

    1. Thank you. I’m pleased you agree. We’re too complacent I think when it comes to judging other countries. Yes, we can often see who is the aggressor, in the ‘wrong’, but we don’t ever enquire too closely about who sold them the weapons. It seems as though we keep our ethics out of our business dealings.

  1. Heart-breaking Jane. And the wisdom of “the clever observation
    that has no spine” is poignant and accurate.


    1. Thank you! I don’t have much patience these days with words that just say, look at me, aren’t I smart? We pat ourselves on the back too much, I think, for too little.

      1. So much of our comfortable standard of living comes from international commerce that we’d rather know nothing about. And we’re not prepared to cut back on those comforts, not even when we know we’re destroying the planet. Does no one think of their children and grandchildren? It’s depressing.

  2. Congratulations Jane, a well earned feature. I now look out for the pointed sting in the end. A good thing…always such good ‘food for thought’s


    1. Thank you! It’s always a pleasant surprise to be chosen for anything. Among poets, it’s an honour.
      The times don’t really lend themselves for lighthearted thoughts. Why I’ve missed a lot of the prompts. Too ‘fun’ for me.

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