17 Word Short

We can’t stop people from hating.

We can stop people from hating

behind

triggers

of

automatic

rifles.

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Entry posted in short stories.

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It Cracked

it cracked
like an old bell
statutes of liberty
when, from Command’s seat, pronounced
judgments on where a brother takes a knee
while islands flood in the darkness
and neighbors shift rubble
the king’s worn crown
it cracked

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Entry posted in poetry & Rictameter Verse. Bookmark the permalink.

Cherita #7

fool rolls over in bed

sleeps through the stench
of soiled sheets

hits the snooze
on life’s wake-up call
and decays

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry cherita.  Bookmark the permalink.

 

Where Breath Failed

where breath failed
and tongues were tied
in ropes of persecution
dark words
caught on the lips
moistened by endless tears
rolled off the chin
filling ink-well pools

empty pens
in dehydrated hands
dipped to quench the thirst
of parched minds’ papers
leaving fluid trails
that dried
tattooed
on the skin
of humanity’s
beaten
drums

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

 

They Swim

They swim
poor little fish
straight through the safety nets
that would hold them
in fresh water’s flow
they are too young to vote
or weave social change
into protective boundaries

They swim
through gaping holes of greed
lacking resource and means
to bind the shredded holes of ignorance

They swim
swept downstream
to river’s brackish estuary
where
the salt
through osmosis
dehydrates cells

They swim
assimilating the filth
prostitution
drug abuse
theft
abuse
bulging, murderous eyes
desperate

They swim
until
defeated
oxygen depleted
poor little fish
belly up

They float

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

What?

what does a ban say
on a sunny Easter Day

THAT

starving children,
the moaning human refuse
collected
for posterity
in refugee wastelands
must starve
WHILE
sheltered youth,
plump and spoiled
dressed in pressed watercolors
not junk yard soiled
are allowed free run
on a White House lawn
to hunt for candy-filled eggs

what does a ban say
on a sunny Easter Day

THAT

this year
the Easter Bunny voted
rolled his eggs for Trump

WHILE

children, impoverished,
hunted meals
from the dump

what does a ban say
on a sunny Easter Day

WHAT?

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

If

If
If it
If it were
If it were your
If it were your children’s bellies grumbling
of course you would feed them
knead stone into bread
until your fingers bled trying
can you squeeze water from clay?
filter impurities away?
with your skin?
steal shelter from garbage bins?
build scrap-tin walls with a cardboard roof
until it rains
filling puddles with the rust
of poverty’s chains
to what land would you flee?
if bombs showered your home?
all order violently destabilized
carry your children on your back
so you might keep their dead bodies from dying
for another day or two
how much time can you purchase?
when you can’t even buy food?
If it were your children’s bellies grumbling
If it were your
If it were
If it
If

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

Bleed

bleed red
the deep wounds flow
dressings stain crimson hues
from battlegrounds ubiquitous
suffering erects no bigoted walls
but into each culture’s bed climbs
disturbing the soul’s sleep
all humankind
bleed red

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Entry posted in poetry & Rictameter Verse. Bookmark the permalink.

A Trashed Haiku

black garbage bag tote ~

carries all life’s possessions ~

piled on refuse child

~

(Selection taken from A Haiku for Ricky Baker, on sale now. All proceeds go to fund art and writing programs for children in juvenile detention centers.)

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Entry posted in haiku & poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

Fitting

plastic feet formed to fit polymer heels
lofty heights
false ideals
dance in girls’ minds
to fairy-tale tunes
flawlessly complected marketing tools
young thoughts make creative formations
of too tiny waists
and bone-thin limbs
manifested years later
in anorexic meals
and bulimic fits
to fit
lovely lies
melted years earlier in colorful molds
hardened in impressionable minds
for uniform standards
unreal

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.