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

Deserter (One Shot Wednesday)

Spine-sagged figures trudge where mottled hill
smacks a smoky sky. A breeze lifts arms but weighs down on phantom weights, crosses the shape of forebodings.
I plead for coddling. But gray huddle bursts–on command
of the winged kingpin–derisive of my intrusion,
message on their repulsive eyes. I recoil
faceless among faces, creep away.

Had I feathers not sticks to heave survival arms
uphill in desert cubicles where suns sketch moons
over trees, I would fly away. Had I beaks not lips to warble jeweled clips not statements of commitments
without weight or facets I could not hold out to
to some light or undecided darkness,
I would sing. Hence, spirit-less

I creep up a clump of cypresses–those grave
sentinels that now stir in the wind, a warning. Am I
perhaps who has given up fighting, scrambling to my end
where martinet on my deserter’s trail awaits? Hinted stars witness my trembling, and then my calming—
when over my head twitters from sparrows roosting
drip as notes, congealing as affirmation of peace

my endless steps into the day, how it winds
to fill and drain then draw up tweets I drop like theirs,
balancing my spirit on a concrete sky.

NOTE: Editing refuses to read my line breaks on line #2 stanza 1, break on down on/phantom weights; line #3 stanza 2, break on warble/jeweled; line #4 stanza 3, break on stars/witness

Edited from original published in “Poets Against War”, March 2008
posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry blog. Join other poets and link up your poem wth Mr. Linky in the site.


January 19, 2011 - Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. whew…quite the message in your words today….the battle is heavy…war is not the answer….and i hate it when editting jerks with me…glad you posted any way…nice one shot

    Comment by brian | January 19, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Brian! Wheew…yes, it is–my poem, I mean and even the editing program I think found the “battle” too heavy! But I couldn’t back out anymore–or be a ‘deserter’. I was going deep into the night, halfway through to midnight. I’m glad you like it!

      Comment by alee9 | January 19, 2011 | Reply

  2. I hate it when the editor does that line break thing–I always write in Word, then copy,paste–but still sometimes I can’t fix things.

    There is a lot of powerful emotion and vivid imagery here, Alegria. I’d be curious to see you revisit the subject in a month or two–there’s so much here it just pours out like a flood. I liked it very much, as always, and found much in it to think about. I think it has enough material in it for several poems. Great writing.

    Comment by hedgewitch | January 19, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you so much, Joy!

      I did reworked on that original poem in Word and pasted it here. But as I reread the draft, I began to find faults and hence, embarked on what seemed editing no end! I believe just gave up on me.

      I know how dense this poem has turned into. I must admit, I thought for a moment, I’ll never get through the brambles but I couldn’t turn back like I told, Brian. I almost deleted the whole thing and replaced it. Yet, it stuck!

      I love how gentle you are in your generous words. Yes, I know I need to revist it sometime. Words that I wish I could invent for your generosity still won’t do! But I’ll say these again, “THANK YOU!”

      Comment by alee9 | January 19, 2011 | Reply

  3. Seems like your lines have wings and really takes off in the second stanza until the end. A wonderful array and barrage of clear imagery. Very well done, Alegria

    Comment by dustus | January 19, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Dustus! Thanks again for this poetry space–it has awakened my poetry senses that I feel like a somnambulist treading on my lines! But you being there makes me feel I’m on solid ground anyhow.

      Comment by alee9 | January 19, 2011 | Reply

  4. […] Inspired by Alegria Imperial, “Deserter” […]

    Pingback by Senryu Four | Michael's Lair | January 19, 2011 | Reply

  5. I wrote a Senryu Immediately after reading this. Inspiration is contagious!

    Comment by booguloo | January 19, 2011 | Reply

  6. Great work.. I was engrossed the whole way…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay

    Comment by Shashi | January 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Shashi!

      Comment by alee9 | January 22, 2011 | Reply

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