Hell, “A Different Level” – Thinking of Aurora


A different level


Hell is a clock
that cannot be
turned back.


Hell is discovering
that your most special,
dear, one
and only,
can be culled
in an instant,


Hell is not
being able to take
the bullet for them;
hell is having to
swallow the bullet for
after it’s hit.


Hell is knowing
too late
how fast
it all was.


Hell is


Mourning the terrible event in Aurora, Colorado. This led me to the above draft poem, linked to the wonderful poets at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads, a discussion of hell. Ridiculous to think of prompts with events like these, but it was somehow a way to write about these awful things. One worries that these things come across as pretentious; I mean to write only with sympathy and sorrow.

I am also linking this to Tess Kincaid’s wonderful Magpie Tales, where she happened to put up a picture prompt of Franz Kline’s Figure 8, which seemed also to fit with this poem.


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33 Comments on “Hell, “A Different Level” – Thinking of Aurora”

  1. chasingadulthood Says:

    I just love the first line! Hell is a clock that can’t be turned back… just, wow.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi, I went to your poem which has such wonderful rhymes and cadence but could not leave a comment. I couldn’t find the place somehow. That may be just me, but you may want to check. K>

      • chasingadulthood Says:

        mutual seduction? I’ll check… funny I know what you mean seeing as many of the poems I uploaded don’t rhyme.

      • chasingadulthood Says:

        I don’t know how to check cuz logged on I can’t see the comment box to any of my posts. And I have gotten comments so I assume is therE?

  2. Susan Says:

    Pow. I feel my tears now as I recognize that I am in that Hell in four parts. You have pinned it to our place, and it is still alive and struggling. I will share on my facebook site, where half my ex-student-poets are raving about the movie, and half are in shocked silence. Thank you.

  3. Susan Says:

    PS: Your Drawing! Flames in heart! No elephants! Gosh.

  4. Storm Rider Says:

    Wow! Heavy.. we’e all facing some portion of this Hell for sure in some way.. Good one! Keep em coming.. : )

  5. Ravenblack Says:

    Not at all coming across as pretentious. There’s anguish in your words.
    What an awful thing to have happened.

  6. Mama Zen Says:

    The first section hits you like a punch in the gut. Brilliant.

  7. brian miller Says:

    dang…this is powerful stuff k…each one just builds…each one felt….tight piece…any moment could be ours…and we can not take the bullet for them…

  8. You have totally nailed it with this poem. Brilliant writing packed with truth. It just could not be said any better. WONDERFUL writing! Thank you for finding just the right words. Reading it, I was saying: “that’s it! that’s exactly it!”

  9. Hell is first-hand! Wow! This poem nailed it for me. The third part was a particularly powerful punch to the gut.

  10. Lynn Says:

    The poem’s simplicity stands in stark contrast to the complex horror in Aurora. Beautifully expressed.

  11. “Hell is a clock
    that cannot be
    turned back.”

    Boy is that the truth, on so many levels.

  12. Claudia Says:

    we heard about it on tv over here as well…and i was shocked..you capture that feeling so well.. the feeling of being powerless to change what happened or protect ourselves or our loved ones from something terrible like this

  13. coalblack Says:

    You certainly have boiled it down to its several essences, one more devastating than the last. It’s almost too hard to read, in light of the events it refers to. Thanks so much for being a part of FBF with this searing piece.

  14. coalblack Says:

    ps–in case you don’t know, this is me, Fireblossom, wearing my WordPress dress.

  15. kaykuala Says:

    in an instant,

    Rightly said, K! Hell is all that has to do with ill-luck. There’s not much we can do to avoid it!


  16. jinksy Says:

    Black to me is a hellish shade, I must say….

  17. Hell indeed, you captured it well. Inspiration surely comes through unlikely places. I wrote something quite “zen” for The Mag, but I too felt compelled to write after the tragedy this past weekend. All that kept going through my head were images of “broken shards.” This was my take: http://insideoutpoetry.blogspot.com/2012/07/shattered-glass.html

  18. Tess Kincaid Says:

    And that bullet goes down so hard…

  19. shanyns Says:

    that has a punch…well written and straight to the heart.

  20. David King Says:

    All too true. For me at the moment it’s No 4 that sinking in. Thought-provoking. Thanks.

  21. janu Says:

    Powerful tribute.

  22. Helen Says:

    There is no way we could be immune to that kind of violence … your poem is powerful, thought provoking.

  23. Karen S. Says:

    Lovely read….and that is an awesome effect to the heart!

  24. hypercryptical Says:

    A vivid impression of hell on hearth.

    Anna :o]

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