Dear Dirty America


Shard Poem: Stained Souls

Shard Poem: Stained Souls
June 24
14:30 2014


(originally sent to Bennett’s email list — sign up below for more like this)

What’s a
stained soul?

Is it like
stained glass?

Soiled underwear?

An unscrubbed
toilet bowl?

Am I
my soul
this way?

How much
stain can
a soul
bear up
under before
it sinks
into hell?

How many
souls got
there before
mine &
do they

I don’t
want to

But maybe
I won’t
maybe I’ll
be free
at last
once my
soul departs.

Are souls
white as
the driven
snow when they
start out?

& where
is it
they start
out from?

How did
they get
there to
begin with?

Here we
go again.

What do
look like?

A wedge of
Swiss cheese?

Are they

Do they
have anything
to do
with God
or are they
free agents?

What right
do we
have to
lay claim
to them?

Will they
take over
the earth
once we’ve
rendered it
for corporeal
life forms?

Imagine the
earth spinning
around the
sun trailing
a gauzy
veil of
stained souls.

Imagine the
rustling sound
they make.

Imagine souls
breaking off
& drifting into
deep space.

Imagine life
forms on a
distant planet
in a
distant galaxy
welcoming them
with open
arms, listening
far into
the night
to their
stories of
all the
they’ve been.


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Find John Bennett’s novels, short stories, and shards at Hcolom Press. You can contact him, or get on his Shards list at Read a review of his novel Children of the Sun & Earth here

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