hope is a small thing with feathers

Selling souls for diamonds
he peddles to the fleeting rich.
Blood smolders in his fiery eyes.

Buy more!
Hoard more!

Build an army to gather and protect
the last food left upon the planet
after oil runs dry and ambition
drowns the mindless
in wanton desires
oblivious to the insidious nature
of the upper one percent.

Man your stockpiles!

He jacks up the price of his diamonds
muttering about his preacher daddy’s
trapped words
unheeded ‘til the end times
when the upper one percent
will send out their armies
killing all remainders.

One by one families will succumb,
gunned down in an oblivious search for sustenance.

He rants about sparks, trapped within
set free at time’s beginnings,
superseded by greed,
while centuries fell from the sky
like iced lightning
stabbing jagged sticks
through the eyes of the wicked
one percent.

Soon they will falter beneath the weight of diamonds,
drawn from blood that nourishes
the ginger-orange soil of Africa.

The clarity of diamonds belies humanity’s greed.

Centuries from now, goodness will rise
in the form of a young girl laughing.

Emerging from the fecund clay of everything that went before,
she will spread her wings and fly, engendering new beginnings,
fresh, beneath her finely feathered soul.

Brenda Warren 2011

Process Notes:
My fears for our planet’s future play out in this piece. I imagined the “he” character as a street peddler, muttering prophecies, largely ignored. Left in the background to rant, pieces of truth fall from his mouth, dissipating in Earth’s dying air. Initially the piece ended with humanity’s greed, and that left me wanting hope. Emily Dickinson’s poem about hope sparked the last stanza, and gave the savior wings. The title is an adaptation from the first line of her poem, which you can find here.

Visit The Sunday Whirl

24 thoughts on “hope is a small thing with feathers

  1. I often fear for our future as a planet and a people too, am dismayed by the direction of our repetitve turnings to acquire and hang onto morel. Your”Buy more. Hoard more” got to me. And i like your winged savior.


  2. Funny but much of life is about materialistic aspirations, the beast of capitalism runs our lives.

    The ending is such a contrast to what went before. It is about creativity, not wealth creation, and that is definitely transcendental.

    Good work, Brenda. I’m glad you’re getting some rest finally.


  3. I fear as well for our planet and you touch on so many of humanities ills here. I was also grateful for hope at the end! I keep forgetting to tell you I like you photo of the bird and the title of your blog. Happy T Day holiday.


    • Happy T Day to you, too. The bird is an osprey. I took the picture on a walk with my family along the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana, early in September. The dogs were playing, and we were catching up on life. It was a darn good day.


  4. Brenda, there is no generosity amongst the 1%, in my opinion. Mary, mentions Steve Jobs, but the manufacturing of his products was done largely overseas. I am dismayed by the greed of the 1% in America. I am glad you ended this with a glimmer of hope at the end. A powerful piece, indeed.



  5. you touch on so many different fears in this area…and it happens for sure…the whole gold rush and non monetary stockpiling right now by many for fear of what is to come…def and intersting piece…


  6. So much to think about in your poem, Brenda, though I don’t differentiate people by percentages..and I think one needs to realize that truly it is the wealthy that employs, creares jobs. . Imagine all the people who would not have worked had it not been for Steve Jobs who was undoubtedly a member of the “1%” whose number I disagree with. Who would the marchers, many of whom must be unemployed as they have time to
    march, have employed? Probably the “1 %” is working.


    • A large number of people in our nation are protesting that 1%, it’s not something I pulled out of the air. My fears are shared by many, and yes while some of the 1%, like Steve Jobs, have done significant beneficial things with their wealth to help our country, most of them are unwilling to put their money where there mouth is and truly facilitate positive change in our nation. Our debt woes could be solved through their generosity. The generosity of the 1% appears to by an oxymoron.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  7. Brenda- This is powerful and reflects what many fear. I’m happy for the positive ending. I love the first stanza. You’re a very talented poet and I always enjoy visiting your blog. Thanks so much for the Sunday Whirl.


share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s