for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

Count 1234 (One Shoot Sunday)

*inspired by a photo taken during the Great Depression

1234 the counting beats
on soles the pavements
suffer through

–sorrows smudge hunger
pouting on granite
fissured by want.

Does counting
drill away the hunger?
As if to dig up

completes the burying,
hunger in bags
as crap.

What is the anatomy
of want? Under lenses
combine 1234 in thickness–

in sum, does hunger
make sense? Raking up
senselessness bares bones,

innocence the marrow.
In 1234 nothing shows but
the waiting as if

it were a birthright–
the anatomy for hunger.
Combine 1234 in lean-ness

in sum what rings up? Only
the stark stare, the rage
of hunger—the true sum.

I posted this poem for One Shoot Sunday at the One Stop Poetry blog.

Join us – throw in your verses. Here are the rules (taken directly off their blog):

1. Write a poetic piece & post it on your blog
2. Then let us know about your post. Link back to One Shot
3. Sign up in the Mr Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you’ve posted it.
4. Go visit others who have signed up! Offer support & encouragement. Share your love of words and insight respectfully. Please try to visit as many participating poets as you can. We all could use and appreciate kind feedback.


November 28, 2010 - Posted by | poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. great take on the prompt – the anatomy
    of want made me shiver – intense writing!

    Comment by Claudia | November 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks as always, Claudia, for your comments! I, too, was shivering even trembling as Iwrtoe last night from the spectre of the past in the prompt that forebodes our future if we don’t do “diligent counting”.

      Comment by alee9 | November 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. Love the way you wrote this poem, and how you focus on the stares at the end—a memorable way to close the piece.

    Comment by dustus | November 28, 2010 | Reply

    • But your choice of a picture prompt was so powerful I couldn’t turn away from the stares! It haunted me from the first to the last line like this poem just worte itself. Thank you!

      Comment by alee9 | November 29, 2010 | Reply

  3. What is the anatomy
    of want — this is powerful.


    Comment by Louise | November 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks, Louise! I don’t know where that thought came from–it was the rage the picture prompt it seemed had bottled up in the innocence of those four bodies but shooting out of those eyes. “Bodies” and “eyes”– I guess that’s where the phrase came from.

      Comment by alee9 | November 29, 2010 | Reply

  4. It’s as if we try to slice it, dice it, study it — and then see the stares and the rage. Well done.

    Comment by Glynn | November 28, 2010 | Reply

    • “Slice, dice and study” the four boys in the picture and what do we uncover indeed. Thank you, Glynn!

      Comment by alee9 | November 29, 2010 | Reply

  5. Your counting so enhances the nothingness left in the blank hungry stares, left hoping… well done.

    Comment by Reflections | November 28, 2010 | Reply

    • I had seen children waiting for their turn at soup lines but there was one where they had to call out their numbers. This was for the soup kitchen to know if those in line equalled the number of soup bowls prepared for a batch. The last number say 24 or the last of two dozen was the cut off. I had seen eyes the lit when taken in, fade and darken when made to wait, “rage with hunger” when farther off. Yet a glimmer of hope somehow sparked among some. The picture prompt perhaps recalled how I felt. Thank you for your comment.

      Comment by alee9 | November 29, 2010 | Reply

  6. Very nicely written. I love the way you use your words, Alegria, like little artifacts that each hold a history. “fissured by want…” “the rage of hunger” Liked it very much.

    Comment by hedgewitch | November 28, 2010 | Reply

    • My words like “little artifacts that each hold a history”… wow! What words could say thank you more profoundly, succinctly, exactly! And I’m babbling in adverbs that won’t do! I do write from so much history like in this [icture prompt. I’ve stared at hunger in the face–of hare-lipped infants, babies with puffed up bodies or shrunken to old age from malnutrition, mothers whose breasts can’t juice milk also from malnutrition, babies made to sip from a pop bottle instead of milk, thus whiny with hunger. The rage of the four boys in my lines I guess is really mine because of my feeling of helplessness. Thank you so much for your uplifting words about my writing.

      Comment by alee9 | November 29, 2010 | Reply

  7. Wow. The way you begin with counting is amazing…how we do that in suffering, and point out the senselessness of hunger. God never intended it. May we line up with His heart and see His kingdom come–then everyone will be fed. Blessings.

    Comment by Melissa Campbell | November 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you, Melissa! Yes, with prayer that we “line up with His heart”, that He may keep us in His divine providence inspite of ourselves, that in His infinite goodness all will be fed.

      Comment by alee9 | November 29, 2010 | Reply

  8. That’s a profound piece – I could almost hear a child say the numbers out loud – a child facing adult struggles

    thanks for sharing with One Shoot

    Comment by moondustwriter | November 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks to you! How it came to be “profound” is from the image itself–it drew out the “anatomy of hunger” waiting ot be written. Thanks again!

      Comment by alee9 | November 29, 2010 | Reply

  9. Wonderful thought provoking words.


    Comment by Anita Wakeham | November 29, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for coming by, Anita! And for your uplifting comments.

      Comment by alee9 | November 29, 2010 | Reply

  10. innocence the marrow

    i like the use of the word marrow

    Comment by nancemarie | November 29, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you! I think I meant ‘marrow’ to mean the true essence of those ‘youth’ that has been eaten up by hunger and want because of the world’s senselessness sometimes or maybe even oftentimes. (I’m sorry for this edit. Too sleepy last night when I felt I had to reply to your wonderful comment.)

      Comment by alee9 | November 30, 2010 | Reply

  11. thank you good
    Granit taşlar Taşyap madencilik
    Granit küp taşı

    Comment by Taşyap Maden | December 1, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you for your comment!

      Comment by alee9 | December 1, 2010 | Reply

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