some thoughts are afraid to be finished
half sentences hang in the air
one after another,
they build a mesh
between self and event
a key to obliterating
those solitary moments in time—
one among the 10,000 things that happen

a tear in the room of a lifetime
driven by longing
driven by night
driven through a slate-lined soul
fragile and layered—

it hangs in the air, that tear

opening a desert chasm
of scattered skeletons where
skulls pop up like boulders
casting a pall of horror and grace
over what we become
a fitting mix to dis-repair
all that we witness,
again and again,
wondering why no one
does anything

finally, we disintegrate to sand

Brenda Warren 2013


Visit The Sunday Whirl

Process notes: After posting the wordle words on Facebook, I sat down to watch “Attack on Darfur” on Netflix. In the first scene, journalists are talking together. They all start to say something, but don’t finish their sentences. It is unsettling because it is unspeakable. I started writing the piece based on that idea, and it came quickly. The skeletons show up because they showed up in the movie while I was writing. It felt personal, like running thoughts, so I didn’t capitalize or offer much punctuation.

25 thoughts on “Sand

  1. Oh Brenda … I attended a ceremony that marks world-wide genocides today (it’s held at a dry-creek genocide garden made of stones that mark various places and peoples, and the ceremony has been taking place annually, for five years) How I would have loved to read this poem there…it’s marvellous; well penned.


  2. sentences,choices-never researched of what life could be if…, tears of unhappiness, then these skeletons and sculls blocked the life , and we complaining, looking who blame for such existence, …sad, but hopefully there an exit if one revisit the life, and let go to what not working anymore…excellent poem


  3. This is powerful but the fourth verse is dynamite! We have only to stop ‘wondering why no one does anything’ and become the change we want to see, then perhaps your bleak poem would demand another, less painful verse! Again, I learned much from reading your process notes. Thank you for sharing and for your wonderful work on Sunday Whirl each week!


  4. I’m delighted to see that 10,000 appeared in your work too. (I wrote mine long before reading yours, so “something” was going on between us!)


  5. A very long time ago, when I was first learning to write poetry, one of my teachers said to be careful not to use trite or overused words (such as tears). I look at your poem and say to that teacher, “Bah, on your silly rules.” Without that single tear, this poem would never reach in and touch so deeply the core sense of our humanity. Thank you Brenda, for once again showing me that old things may be made fresh and new, and filled with meaning, if we are following our own inner leadings. This is better than good writing,



  6. In our area there is a small refugee communities from people (several different countries) fleeing from such horrors. And yet one would like to think there is some hope when recalling that every hair on every head is counted by the Creator. As people though we need to do more to accept and tollerate difference without imposing the restrictions that quite frankly ‘kill’ our humanity.

    Thanks for your visit…I think it was the T’s and D’s …I did have fun writing this morning. Thanks for allowing your word lists to be incorporated into my fantasy.


  7. Sad!! The population reeling under the ongoing conflict there and millions are displaced into camps within their own country!! Your words wonderfully describe the agony of Sudan!!
    “it hangs in the air, that tear” yes it does!!


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