Create Love, Not War. {poetry}

Brussels is burning.

You may say it’s the other side of the world, but Detroit is burning too.

We are all burning.

The fires in the furnaces of our hearts are dying out and our souls are growing cold; nothing to feed them with, just charred bits of broken coals.


Art is dying.

Brushstrokes across the body lost to cries of I don’t know how to paint

When all it takes is a finger dipped in color to create.

I am tired of trying to churn out poetry from the world’s pain.

I do not deem myself enough of a wordsmith to squeeze out any more pretty-sounding vowels from all her continents.


I cannot dispel the waste of youth mocking the dying at their backdoor, getting high off all the wrong uppers to keep them from feeling down.

I cannot turn the radio loud enough to drown

Out the blaring rage upon the road; it wasn’t until last night I remarked upon the marvel of the sun setting prisms upon the clouds. I’m still amazed by spiraled turns and adventures held by exit signs. Yet all that open space, and still no space for all of us.


We are lonely

In a room of all our friends, zombies scrolling through a newsfeed


Starving for the lies we tell ourselves we need

But we are grieving

For the death of the children we used to be

And I am afraid for all the babies still about to be


Brussels is still burning

And Paris is still smoldering, sweeping the ashes towards the Seine

And I’m watching the race for the elections ready to toss my ballot aside

Feeling like a small fish in a big pond, a sinner — failing to be absolved

What difference do I make in a pond slicked green with scum?


I am only happy when I create

Wounded, bloodied only by oil stains

Acrylic seeping into muslin stretched taut over a wooden frame

Pain only when the penpoint scratches my heart and its blue margined veins


There is a hole, not sutured, between my vertebrae

Under the clavicle

Encased by the ribs

Because I ripped it out and threw it at him

And I was lucky he was such a good catch

To hold all my creations in the palm of his hands


When I clasp his in mine, it looks like we’re praying

To what I haven’t the faintest idea

But I’m praying our love will create more love

If I were to pray, it’d be for peace, and not war.


If I were to pray

My prayers would be for you

You are loved so much

But never truly happy

Like happiness is some object to be obtained

It’s rather something inside us that starts to grow the more we water the seed

Why can’t you see you are a tree?

Your roots don’t hold you back, they hold you up

Your bark isn’t ugly, it protects soft pine

I will hold tightly to your trunk

And we will clasp our praying hands

And we will pray the cruel world will not cut you down


When your toes touch the soil, do you hear our heartbeats in the ground?


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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
Alise Versella