Every Single One of Us Has the Devil Inside

When the devil came out of the bathroom
they sunk a little deeper in
and thought to state truth
but lied and lied.

Jerky transitions in a city of shades
lullabies where you can find them
being forgotten like snot-filled tissue
what do I hate about
being found? They grow and change
live and love like us
yet not like us – puzzles never solved
jewels in our crowns bent heavy with regret.

Tedious telephone voices
harp at you like the common cold
and the world loves nothing more
than beating you up in a cloud of smoke.
What refuge can you find bubbling
up enough random junk to float to the surface
for our stories to want more?
Too late
You can’t, you won’t, you want
to keep a good woman
down, boy!

All palpable, the fingers groan
as they caress the fat downy tummy of a cat
with a puff of thistles in its fur.
We see the pastoral in a sleight of hand
how mind thinks its way into and out of this boxed world
but I’m not there to cry forgiveness.

Only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.

Drawing by Jodi Harvey-Brown: Inner Demons. From fineartamerica.com
Drawing by Jodi Harvey-Brown: Inner Demons. From fineartamerica.com

For dVerse Poets, Mary is encouraging us to use a line from Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem Burning the Old Year as an homage to the poet. I couldn’t resist using the lines in italics, since it was Naomi who inspired me to start writing poetry once more (and start this blog in the process). For all your wonderful poems and kind words, here’s a very special thank you, Naomi!

26 thoughts on “Every Single One of Us Has the Devil Inside”

  1. What a powerful way to evoke that feeling of reaching for that dark side in us. I like it very much, Marina Sofia!

  2. I never knew she was your muse Marina ~ That is a stirring title and speaks much of our darker side, keeping that woman down ~

    1. Initially I wrote it about unfulfilled dreams and trying to live it out through your kids, a destructive habit which I have seen in many cases, but then it expanded into something more. Thank you for your kind comment!

  3. Whew, this is a strong, deep, and a bit dark poem, Marina Sofia. And indeed a good woman cannot be kept down! (Nice to see you!) I am excited to learn that Naomi was so influential in your poetic life! She definitely is one of the poets who ‘speaks to me’ too! I heard her once, and if I had the opportunity again I would go in a heartbeat!

    1. I thought I would keep my head down and work this week – have a conference to prepare and my novel to finish, but I couldn’t resist the temptation with your prompt, Mary!

  4. You are woman, & I adore your roaring. For me the devil resides in the kitchen, with pesky snack demons in the cabinets. Nice that the poem raised its skirt for us on the Day of the Woman. As a man, I strive t understand, as well as accommodate to wife, daughters, & the women around me.

    1. Thank you, Glenn – it’s funny that it came out as a ‘womanly roar’, which was not at all what was intended originally. But perhaps my natural feistiness came through, or Naomi’s…

  5. This is such a great poem… I love how you fill it with anger.. and I really like knowing she was the inspiration for you to start blogging..

    Just to bring out one thing I love, “the pastoral in a sleight of hand… ” deceit is sweet until you realize it’s just Potemkin villages…

  6. I think I’ve learned the importance of facing that devil because as long as I try to ignore it, he has the upper hand. It takes an awful long time and repeated efforts. Very strong rant-like poem, Marina.

  7. I enjoyed your lines, despite the darkness. How wonderful that you were inspired to go back to writing by this great poet! I am glad this prompt gave us the opportunity to have you back at dVerse. I hope you are well, MarinaSofia.

  8. SMiLes.. the Angel Loves..
    the Devil Survives..
    Love survives
    a balance
    of both..
    the reptilian braiN..
    Love.. the mammal bRain..
    reaSon the
    Killer now
    and Lover
    of both…

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