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HOW GRANDLY WILL YOU LIVE? by Alise Versella

 This poem is about living fiercely amidst all the catastrophe...

I was reading a lot of stories about post apocalyptic heroines- which I thoroughly enjoyed, but the common theme was getting depressing. When did everyone stop writing about life? The beauty among the living? I wanted a poem that reminded me of that. It was also after my grandpa passed and I didn't want to be afraid of death. So this emerged: a poem about our fleeting seconds and a call to live them grandly.



How Grandly Will You Live?
by Alise Versella

People write about the beginning of time
And lately, perhaps given our current state of affairs
The end of time
The destruction of the world as we know it
An apocalyptic society and how we'd weather after the storm
Or how we wouldn't

Much less is written about the middle
We can guess at when the universe began
Discuss theology and who, if anyone, if really up there
In the great unknown
Listening
Waiting
We can forewarn our coming doom
The eternal flames we may soon
Perish in…

But we don't write about the middle
The present
That gift wrapped up in a bow
Now
Here is now
I want a story about Now

About you and me and the sea
I want the now of your pulse beneath my cheek
I want
I want
Until it's gone
We will be gone
And I am wearied
By the onslaught of stories written about our demise

What happened to LIFE?

Our tree trunk bodies
Stretching their roots
Deep into the soil
Soaking up the flood waters, soaking up our sorrows
And planting the guts to shoot
At the relentless throngs of grass blades carried in the mouths of army ants
Our buzzing worker bees
Sent out to save the virgin queen

I want to read about a life
A blood orange sunset
Its segments plucked apart
And tasted by the dreamers in the midnight

A moon making love to the tide
Pulling at her hair
Rocking against the crevice of her
Barnacle encrusted hips

I want a story about living
Not about the deadened souls of the ones who were too scared
Imprisoned
Choking on their fear flavored poison

I want no beginning
I care not why we start
I don't want impending endings weighing heavy on our hearts
Give me your right now
Give me your fleeting seconds
We only have moments the devil abandoned so we stole them
I want to read your sins tattooed upon your skin
I want to read my tombstone
And recount how grandly that I LIVED.




Alise Versella:  I am a 24 year old poet living in the pinelands of New Jersey. Poetry has always been the ether in my veins and the oxygen I breathe. It is my Five Foot Voice, my Onion Heart, I am peeling back the layers of myself like a lotus unfurling its petals in order to grow fully in the waters that can sometimes weigh us down. I’m writing poetry to find myself, I’m writing poetry to save the world. My hope it that my poetry saves someone’s world from crumbling because I believe art has the power to hold us up when we can’t find the legs to stand. You can visit me at my Facebook page here or on my website here. And my third volume of poetry, A Few Wild Stanzas, is available here. 



~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~

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