Sunday, July 17, 2016



Chaos is too strong
and takes up too much space
so to sweeten it away, 
we say
we must make sacrifice.

Never ourselves, no,
but something we pretend
is quite important, beautiful,
or dear, yet when the blade is done
will not be missed.

Chaos is too quick
on its feet. We thieves
swindle out no bright salvation here
shifting barefoot in the ash
the lying Order of our tears

dried by the furnace breath
of Chaos laughing.

~July 2016

 posted for   real toads

Image: A Sacrifice, Govanni Battista Piranesi
public domain via


  1. Hey Joy, At first I thought this was one of those Herrick stanzas--I'm not sure that it is but the internal rhymes hit with a quiet insistency that works super well. The content hits too, of course--agh--chaos is certainly quick on its feet and our parrying (especially if faked) not too effective for any defense or anything but more loss. Your enjambment works so well too--especially Chaos being too quick--as in lively as well as fast--all is so effective. I also love the way the tears become an Order as well, a lying Order, almost like a sect, as well as laying down in a line about our faces. Most effectively done. Thanks for participating-- great pic also--agh. k.

    1. No, no deliberate attempt at form but I think we find the more we write that we favor certain styles and meters unconsciously. Thanks for your generous appraisal, k.

    2. You are welcome-- we probably do inhale or intuit forms or let them "inform" us but works as a bulwark here against the chaos and a kind of counterpoint. K.

  2. This is like the second law of thermodynamics - chaos always wins in the end. Only with the utmost energy and tears we can enslave it to a will of order...

  3. A poem for all time ~~ for this time.

  4. So true. When times call for sacrifice, no one is falling in line to make one. Chaos does seem to be in the ascent these days.

  5. I picture the Koch brothers' faces in that last stanza.

    feel ready to start reading poetry again. it's been a while... sorry for going silent...

    1. No blame, no foul, M--I hope you never read out of obligation--I miss your visits, and I miss your voice even more in your own work, so very glad to see you back in any way,on any level, the more the merrier. Thanks so much for all the comments and reading all the poems--no one does that, and I deeply deeply appreciate it. I am pretty played out these days myself, but when I go too long without writing I feel myself becoming poorer.

  6. It's all in how things are phrased, of course. We live in the age of euphemism and catch phrase. Nothing is called what it is, because then truth would have to be dealt with, and no one remembers how.

  7. It is always good to look at a sample of those who are called to make the sacrifice, or who are offered as sacrifices... and at the things that some consider worth sacrificing (and who's deciding they must be sacrificed, too). A bit of a mess, isn't it? And in the end, the ones who should be saved end up lost... Chaos is roaring.

  8. Oh, my!! Your closing two lines pack such a sensory punch...I can feel and see that laughter...well done all together, Hedge!

  9. It takes a thief to understand the mercenary abacus of sacrifice -- the tit for tat barter, piece of soul for a glint of heaven: and enter the sacred transaction with fingers crossed behind one's back. Ever gaming for the gold. But if "Chaos is too strong," then deal or no deal the end is rookery, Trumped (ha ha) by the greater thief. When the Wicked Witch of the West cackles, "I'll get you Dorothy--and you're little dog!" we're already counting chips, wondering if Toto is half enough of the bargain. And the guile is what melts us in the end, stymied by the "furnace breath / of Chaos laughing." Rats. We are such doomed rascals. A delightfully wicked pocket assay on the Fool card which plays us all, tight and taut and merciless. You do know how to spring the trap.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats