For Cecil {poetry}



A roar bellowed,


like the ghostly wail of spirit

passing out of body

through the tunnels

of vocal chords.

Lungs let out their last exhale,

like hot air balloons

losing steam as they billow

back towards

the ground.

And those massive paws

pounded the ground,


with unadulterated

strength and prowess,

now lie


their last imprint

in gravesite soil.

That last roar rustles

these savannah grasses,

haunting like the shadows passing,

spilling over the lit kerosene

of evening light.


the moon won’t show her face,

refusing to display

any blackened bloodstains

with illuminating highlights.

The plains are echoing.

The cages are rattling.

 The wild weeps to roam free.

They’ve been locked

inside themselves too long,

forgetting the feel of warm blood

coursing through their veins,

staining their teeth.

Their animal instinct


 Their ardent hunger numbed.

Did you feed

your mammalian hunger,

the appetite you’ve denied yourself

all these years?

With the shot

and the roar

and the rush of blood in the ears,

Did you finally feel alive?

Somewhere inside you

growled a lion

in its rib-caged den.

But it died

like a soul

grown as ashen as moth-wings’ dust.

You couldn’t reconcile

that you too are beast-like,

and perhaps

you could never come to terms

with the similarities

between you and that majestic beast,

because you keep

your beastly nature

strangled tightly by your leash.

Those who roam free and wild

terrify the trapped,

so you trapped him in your sight

and when you looked

into the iris you saw only a prize.

You did not recognize

 your own animal soul

reflected in the eyes’ flecked gold.


You did not recognize which soul

you had in fact shot down.



Alise Versella
Alise Versella is a poet living at the Jersey Shore. She has published three volumes of poetry which can be found at her website, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Her work has been featured on Elephant Journal, Women's Spiritual Poetry blog, ultraviolettribe.com, The Tattooed Buddha, and of course here. She considers herself a coffee enthusiast and self-proclaimed dessert whore, who believes with every fiber of her being that poetry, beautiful poetry, can come from the ugliest of pain. Poetry can be the salve for all the broken parts, and it can make us whole.
Alise Versella