Life’s Measures

There’s a place outside my universe
just across the street
viewed from my living room window
one elevator and a three minute walk away.

Purgatorial stop for innocent souls
once scourged by searing flames
they claw, stretch, adapt to live
ignore death’s too soon call.

Red yellow flames once licked their skin
lit pain in fissures blackened deep
now loved ones stand and pray
plead for angels’ breath to soothe.

Their passage, mythological in scope
an underworld of white-masked faces
wrap and unwrap shrouds of gauze
each treatment claims a toll.

I sit and stare from comfortable skin
commuter rail late, supper cold
he-said-she-said politics at work.
Tears erupt as eyes seek light.

Suddenly see through the panes
eyes pop open, slapped to senses
you have life, move on and live
as they struggle up from hell.


This poem resulted from a prompt in my poetry class, to write about something you see all the time, IE perhaps look out your window, or note what you see on your daily walk to work, something in your house….look more carefully at something you see every day. Photo is actual view from our window — motivation for the poem.

12 thoughts on “Life’s Measures

  1. BarbaraK aka fiddlbarb May 15, 2015 / 12:09 am

    Eloquent and powerful. Really makes one stop and consider. Great response to a wonderful prompt. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 15, 2015 / 1:30 pm

      Thanks much — as always, over my morning cup of coffee 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • BarbaraK aka fiddlbarb May 15, 2015 / 2:37 pm

        Friday Morning coffeetime cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. OldenGray May 15, 2015 / 1:14 am

    Beautifully done. I am so impressed with your writing that I signed up for the June class, with Holly. Thanks very much Lillian, for posting the link an another poem. You have some very classy works!
    Alan :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 15, 2015 / 1:32 pm

      Hope you enjoy the June Challenge — I’ll be doing it as well. Glad you enjoyed the poem.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack May 15, 2015 / 10:48 am

    This was almost prophetic in tone and gorgeously phrased.
    And wow, from the photo, it appears you live high in the sky!
    Happy Friday to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 15, 2015 / 1:34 pm

      Seventh floor — would have loved the seventeenth but as in most city places, cost rises as the floors rise. So glad you enjoyed this — it’s gone through a number of reiterations to get it as you read it. The emotions have always been the same. Enjoying my morning cup.


      • AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack May 15, 2015 / 5:24 pm

        You’re on the perfect floor – what is it they say – “seventh heaven” 🙂
        Your efforts were well worth the results – excellent and beautiful poetic language

        Liked by 1 person

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