A daily poetry practice to generate and sustain the Life/Lines among us, for published and novice poets alike
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Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.
Send us your poem via our Submissions page or post on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #lifelines.
Today’s words were contributed by guest curator Feng Sheng Hu, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and the Lucille P. Markey Distinguished Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
Poems submitted for April 5
Herds of humans came
Hearing the hopeful call to stall, to stop this renegade virus.
Herds of humans came.
Healing, they heard. Vaccine, they heard. In lines they stood.
Herds of humans came.
Harmonious, heterogeneous hordes, humans in glorious unpageantry assembled.
Hearts and heroes join hands, bodies and breath distance,
Humanity rendered humane in this hallowed harrowing time.
History holds this arhythmic heartbeat, hovering
hung in this balance of life and death.
And herds of humans come.
Wishes for the year being born:
Hopeful, humane, healing and harmonious--
Outside, in the streets,
The heterogeneous bull rages
Breaking the glasses of intent
Grinding the shards into sand
Beneath cloven hooves.
Healing is most definitely humane.
It is truly insane,
not to be hopeful - no shame.
Heterogeneous is the name.
Harmonious is the game.
Passionately made with love to be uniquely different and yet the same.
Everyone play nice.
Kenytha Arlisa Harvey
heterogeneous thinking makes way for
i was harmonious before the healing began.
only dr valentine was humane, and could sense
my fragmented and heterogeneous pose.
and those others, those others,
they all thought i was hopeful.
— Matthew Freeman
One is hopeful that global healing is capable in a
humane, heterogeneous mixture of
kindness, love, peace, and happiness
in a fair and harmonious experience
of total acceptance.
It is only humane to
remember the past year
I am hopeful of the healing,
Only if we cultivate a harmonious
relation with Nature.
The monotony of capitalism
has to be broken.
The heterogeneous nature of man
The body still pliable, the
protest still hot, and already
someone is calling for healing.
Such a hopeful word,
empty of instruction.
It sounds humane, as though this heterogeneous mass of
clashing need and hate
will somehow turn harmonious
with its help.
But it is just a word.
And “Word” does not mean
Truth, or God,
Never use words like heterogeneous in a poem, the instructor said emphatically.
Never interrupt the flow of such a hopeful, harmonious, humane and healing activity
as reading a poem
by sending your average reader to the dictionary.
People will not read such a poem.
Pluto's Republic in short
heroes, heroines, a heterogeneous healing, humane, hopeful
group of swashbucklers, smiling smoothies trying to achieve a far more harmonious society
than the one of dictator God, guns, absolute free-t-do-what-I want society
unless ideal I refuse to follow the ancient duplicitous, ambiguous, contradictory text
hanged down haughtily from the high echelons of ordained, oath-provoked humanity
of Father (and Mother) Knows Best if you consent to assent and spend your days of yore
making life miserable for miscreants born that way and made in Satan's own democratic (small d) image---ha-ha-ha!!! huh-huh?uh-huh God-Guns-State and the letter I after the haiches of Hell prevail
— Dan Cuddy
They say there is light at the end of this tunnel
Prevention administered through a needle but little healing
The body politic grievously wounded
Heterogeneous always but hardly harmonious
Our deep divisions make it hard to be hopeful
Humane? Perhaps, but actually hopeless and forlorn.
Hopeful hyacinths and hellebores
Perky peonies and pansies
Dancing daffodils and dogwoods,
Bodacious blue jays and bluebells,
Canty cardinals and crocus,
A heterogeneous, harmonious whole,
Teaching us how to be humane.
Humane future we spoke
hopeful tales we told
Hid the heterogenous spark
behind the harmonious mark
Have we ever begun
healing the harm we've done?
The Human Race
Even though heterogenous
we can try...
to be humane,
Can we be hopeful for a humane healing
in the months ahead?
With a heterogeneous supply of vaccine perhaps
a harmonious cure will raise it's head
Or will the evil spread?
While I remain hopeful about healing,
hopeful that heterogeneous people will find common ground in healthy practices,
and remain humane towards each other,
I find harmonious the acceptance of our frailty.
Margaret Fourt Goka
Spring has burst out
in a harmony, a symphony
a heterogeneous mix of
Red yellow purple pink white
It feels like a healing
Plants have no need of instructions
to be humane or hopeful
if you listen closely
you can here, feel each plant
urging you to join them in knowing
"This is who I am today
And I am alive!"
conceited, cruel, concealing,
cacophonous and crappy.
hopeful, humane, healing,
harmonious and happy.
The burgeoning heterogeneous population
Leads to anthropogenic pain
Healing the sluiceways of the soul is humane
So try to stay hopeful
As the world seems to go insane
Pray to the Funk and the Monk that is Thelonious
To salvage a moment that is harmonious
hopeful for a healing world
that is heterogenous
yet harmonious and
John J. Han
IT ONLY MAKES SENSE
In the painful wake of the donation
Before true healing had begun
He was hopeful for some small libation
He thought it humane, but he’d not get one.
Through his angst compounded as he lay supine
Came a calm seemingly heterogeneous
Where he once craved whiskey, beer, or wine
Now booze with meds rings inharmonious
Our heterogenous views
Leave us hopeful
And a harmonious
Humane end to it all.
In those days of meager offerings,
the wisest of us were the ones
who tempered their expectations,
gently refusing bold talk of all-encompassing healing
with a more humble proposal, who
traded hopeful for here,
not expecting some harmonious resolution
to such a heterogenous mix of troubles, no—
only the most humane end
that particular hour
‘Heterogeneous,’ you awkward word, preposterous (as Ogden’s quaint rhinoceros)!
Yet, your meaning’s so magnanimous: a magpie’s mix of chord and color, a palette full and quite splendiferous!
Without you life is onerous;
impossible to harvest harmony or healing.
In your presence, ‘heterogenous,’
I shall remain
hopeful for a more humane and generous
understanding of what’s meant by ‘us!’
there's a certain tired insistence on healing
that can obliterate the heterogeneous
storylines that keep us hopeful
hoping for healing feels humane, though
hope and submission striking harmonious accord
before the healing the bleeding must cease
Marching in the hopeful spring,
heterogeneous crowds a rainbow,
all holding hands in harmonious
song, sharing the blessed, healing
sunshine. A humane revival of spirit.
Let the sunshine. Let the sunshine in.
By Rebecca Carron Wood
The way in which it pays you back is humane,
making it more generous and healing.
Let me give you some advice there.
very common point of view that says.
Or another argument: it is a tricky thing.
You will find harmonious and deep webs between heterogenous communities.
The second part is dependent on your idea of redistribution.
One would not suspect,
Or maybe you would think.
I thought you to be hopeful,
revealing why I do this.
— Ellery S.
Mind whips the soul for
Breaking rules that feel safe
Only the most humane experience
We gasp for air, hopeful
“I’m ok.” Keep breathing
Teeming, a harmonious respite
Healing, an explosion of feeling
We are hopeful; we are healing
Ever-changing tones and feelings
Stop me when I turn my back.
Once harmonious now humane
Once so clear and now arcane
Gentle words launch their attack.
Scattered pebbles, scattered thoughts:
Pretend they are all the same but you;
The heterogenous faces are too much, too soon.
“To err is human, to forgive divine.”
It’s so easy in my small town sameness
But when faced with the heterogeneous
Landscape of the world, I am less hopeful
To hurt others seems to be human
To offer healing would be humane
But I doubt the ability of our species
To live into such a harmonious existence.
— Chad Savage
the movement of parts
to a heterogeneous and harmonious
by Lloyd Klinedinst
Au bout de la lumière, au bout du tunnel, il y a toujours le bout.
Au bout du tunnel harmonieux, et sa lumière, il y a encore le bout.
Le tunnel mélangé me dit tout, sa lumière promet
une paire de lunettes, et sa lumière engageante.
Le tunnel humain est au bout, il est loin.
La lumière est au bout du tunnel, à la fin.
In days and in hours we find a way where healing happens
After death and destruction plunges the confused world into
A humane response understood to be a hopeful and harmonious sign
Of an ethnically heterogeneous population taking charge at last
Long time coming out of the darkness and debilitation of racism
Everywhere all the time in every particle of the air we breathe it lives
Where no water is allowed for parched voters waiting in line
Told no. no we do not want you to exercise your right.
You vote the wrong way. So no, no water. Stay home next time.
A Brighter future
Whether heterogeneous or LGBT
Hopeful healing is a light we see
To the end of a pandemic so insane
We hope for a future harmonious and humane.
Like children unrestrained and still untrained
in hate, our poems tumble
onto the screen in a jumble
of hopeful energy,
heterogeneous, yet harmonious,
each one humane in its willingness
to offer healing
and to invite others in.
Jill H., MN
The dogs shift into a heterogeneous pack:
some low howling, louder growls before their play
becomes harmonious, though raucous,
with humane teeth gnashing and hopeful
lunges. The entire scene is soothing,
healing almost. How these canines
live with us dumb beasts is a greater wonder.
— M.E. Hope
Hopeful, even without the possibility
where once all was harmonious.
Nothing human housed here now,
only reside those clamorous, heterogeneous
You say you want healing
You say you want us to be harmonious--but demanding we be homogeneous
Don't you know? Harmony implies melody, many voices--it's heterogeneous
We need healing--
Hopeful, humane, whole--holistic
A symphony of heterogeneity working in concert
arcing to eternity . . .
In the migration corridors of the world now
Unseen birds fly over us at night: a harmonious consort
Hopeful—if that’s a metaphor for code—for the end
Of their five-thousand mile flight.
Can there be healing—if that’s the word—after
Humans’ un-humane blighting of their wetlands:
Where they had always plunged down to jab at the earth like sewing machines and
Sustain their spent bodies with the heterogeneous bounty of the mud.
a heterogeneous lot,
Hopeful through and through.
Humane to offer
healing for the anxious ones;
my body is heterogeneous
blood courses through me, healing
love flows through me, hopeful
faith stimulates me, harmony
chaos runs through me, humane
and the body fights to be harmonious with the soul
hopeful, but as if it were uncouth to be
humane not withstanding
whole haul spleen banded for
healing hard upon the heterogeneous
deferrals, so luck may clang
There is so much I do not understand.
But the bright April sun offers healing today
and the tiny flower buds, harmonious, hopeful,
remind me of the heterogenous cycle of spring.
May I continue to blossom in this messy, human(e) life.
Collective Thoughts and Prayers
Heterogenous marchers fly banners
seeking harmonious healing and humane
treatment for the downtrodden.
Hopeful words flapping in the breeze.
In light of this homogenous year
We seek heterogenous fun
In the name of all that’s humane and dear
We’re hopeful it soon will be done,
For how can we our minds to clear
If healing cannot be begun?
No, we know the light of the end is here
And joyfully towards it we run!
By Diana Haemer
Headline image: Markus Spiske via Unsplash