Attributed to Septuagenarian: love is what happens when I die (March 2021)


One doesn’t have to imagine good and evil amidst all this terror

sadness, the bones and the blood surrender

we can make a difference we are all somebody

we are not on the backs on the backs on the backs

of sorrow


that preceded


head separated from body

body separated from country

family separated


love guarantees memory        madness

guns in white rooms the ghost

of a man an unholy ghost trying to rewrite the story


what if what if what if asking the questions is [not] enough; sometimes


I feel like a boxer punching    the world

is heavy that’s when the silence is broken

not with words but with images   children


didn’t know what to make of the bickering

children got lost in the silences babies suffering;

the father the mother the siblings gone

a newspaper headline


to the wicked and the wise there is a difference

between opinion and truth, a space where dying

to love where freedom is clearly not where in the world we are


divisive and our lives are at risk

tolerate a difficult word; racism, white men with assault rifles; death


is temporary


history implodes on a regular irregular heartbeat the charade is over this year



like a sorcerer reads palms this is love choking on air,

ready to survive pedestals

collapse amidst a pandemic




as I sip my morning coffee it is grief it is death it is love;

hate travels the ♥ broken is what saves us.


© Sherry Quan Lee January 12, 2021


ASSIGNMENT: I’ve been thinking about the recent insurrection at the capitol, the fast and flowing media coverage, the attempts to oust the 45th, etc.  My thought was, as a poet, I should write a found poem based on various print and even video media; but, I thought it would be complicated because of copyright, what is fair use, and how to attribute my sources (unless there is no thought of publishing it).  Instead, I turned to my own writing using only text from my forthcoming book.  Try this as an assignment, use words and phrases from what you have previously written and “find” a poem. I started with a goal in mind, to discover what I might have, perhaps unknowingly, said beyond the personal, have I entered the world?  Having a theme in mind isn’t necessary, it is enough to just randomly choose words and phrases you are drawn to as you reread what you have written over a particular span of time.

NOTE: The poem published here is a first draft.

About Sherry

Author. Poet. Teacher. Mentor. Chinese/Blackbird.

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