What Makes One

What Makes One

what makes one begin
after a battle
begin again
after a war
after whatever
razes all
to the ground–

maybe it’s hunger,
or maybe the need to breathe,
to get out, get away,
get the bodies out
of the way–

maybe something in the cells
cries out for water
says get water
guard water
find what water
can be guarded–

or, maybe its the hearing of cries
for water
the not wanting to hear
such cries–


For my own prompt on Real Toads about rebirthing,, rebooting–  The pic is mine; all rights reserved.

Explore posts in the same categories: poetry, Uncategorized

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11 Comments on “What Makes One”

  1. kanzensakura Says:

    I hate this overused word but all I can say is poignant. The not wanting to hear the cries…

  2. sanaarizvi Says:

    This is deeply touching and philosophical Karin! ❤️ I especially like and resonate with these lines; “maybe something in the cells cries out for water says get water guard water find what water can be guarded.” Thank you so much for the wonderful prompt. ❤️

  3. Kerry Says:

    The survival instinct beautifully reworked into poem.

  4. Jim Says:

    I like this Karin. Perhaps there’s a seed left to grow. Thank you for posting. BTW, I am not a gun person, I just used a simile (??) that could stand for a whatever. (I have two guns I inherited from two folk, one my dad’s OLD 22 gauge Montgomery Ward rifle and the other a 9mm Spanish pistol. I’ve never fired either.

  5. Water, food, breath – all vital. War …hopefully not so much.
    I like very much this vivid and thoughtful piece.

  6. kim881 Says:

    I’m reading your poem with the sun shining outside my window, although the wind is blowing, and my all I can hear are the cries for water, with which infused this poem, Karin: a potent mix of empathy, sadness and despair. I really like the word play in the lines:
    ‘maybe something in the cells
    cries out for water’,
    which conveys so much in so few words.

  7. M Says:

    i’m just reminded of children in war zones, of those Syrian children consigned to the sea ~

  8. Brendan Says:

    This coming-to and reawakening after war — when everything is reduced to the bleakest of aftermath — to me reminds me of how life comes back after a planet almost goes extinct. There is a deep region of the heart for this too, when both metaphors struggle to portray the darkness we must return from. Well done.

  9. Susie Clevenger Says:

    Yes, this is a beautifully written poem about the drive to survive. Thank you so much for your kind words on my poem. I am fine. It was written from my experience in of trying to overcome the blows my body took in 2006 from a car accident.

  10. “Not wanting to hear such cries”

    This struck me as a powerful line, a yearning to get beyond the hurt.

  11. ayala Says:

    Beautifully penned.

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