Two Poems by Shari O’Brien


When it first begins to fall,
we suppose it’s snow,
a freakish brown, or it’s August,
dust the wind has sown
though more diaphanous than we’ve seen
before. Ignorant, we won’t suspect
it’s ash ‘til brick and glass melt down
and flesh is broiled off the bone,
and fallout barbeques this globe
humanity called home.

Poor God

I hear the evangelist on TV
thunder that there are no accidents,
that when the wings of Icarus
were melted by the sun, Providence
was delivering a lesson on obedience;
and that every storm - - no every pair of clouds - -
is gathered from the wrath
of poor, benevolent God, credited
by one witness with the timing
that saved him from a chain collision
four miles up the highway claiming half a dozen lives,
yet by the same logic fingered
for visiting a killer hurricane
upon a city where gays staged a march….
Poor, defenseless God, villainized
by His faithful sheep,
poor old God, sound asleep
on his bed of clouds.

Shari O’Brien