By Lynne Handy

I smell it—
testosterone bones the very air I breathe,
raping seas and waterways, regulating wombs
and ovaries, paring healthcare to a nub.

I smell it in warlords’ jizzy elbow-rubs,
in stilled dissent and parody;
in decay of human brain cells,
contempt for learning. It is strongest
in the threat of nuclear cinders
and human ash, and truths hidden
in the swamp-clot of lies.

This frazzled world needs correction.
’Til yesterday, we were progressing,
but then a curtain dropped
on science, sanity, and good sense.

It’s time to sanitize,
revitalize the world.
Infuse it with truth,
train youth in humanitarian pursuits,
gather all the terrible bombs,
sink them into a sea-safe,
and melt the key; revere the oceans,
heat the world with only sun,
respect the intellect of women,
read the beatitudes, a really good primer
for the lost. Erect monuments to poets,
inscribe their words in the sky.

Let calm breezes waft
in tropes of humility and good will;
a butterfly propulsion,
a timbre of fragile wings
made momentous by their mission
to save


Retired librarian Lynne Handy lives in the Illinois Fox Valley with her terrier, Schatzi, and her beagle mix, BoPeep. She writes poetry and fiction, and participates in poets’ groups and open mikes throughout the area. She has written Spy Car and Other Poems, and three novels, Where the River Runs Deep, The Untold Story of Edwina, and In the Time of Peacocks. Her poems have been published in several literary journals. You can contact her lynnehandy.com and on Instagram.

Photo Credit: “Phillis Wheatley, poet at work,” Boston Women’s Memorial, by Lorianne DiSabato via a Creative Commons license.

By | 2018-02-07T09:38:43+00:00 February 8th, 2018|Categories: Issue 55: 08 Feb 2918|Tags: , |0 Comments

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