Zumwalt Poems Online

what soul is not besieged

what soul is not besieged

what soul is not besieged by rotten eggs and soft tomatoes
by answers unreturned and questions unsent
by minutes that make up hours and hours
           that tear down the day

what mind is not put upon and
           once put upon
                           cast off into a corner
what body is not battered and
                   beaten by the blows it shields
itself from

what soul is not bombarded
         by twenty-two gauge shot and mortar fire
by unresolved cadential patterns
         that whine around the head

by invalidation of beliefs and
         of what one has seen and sensed

there is reason to suspect that one can grow
if only the rainy season didn’t last
                                                       the entire year.

—  Zumwalt (1991)


Comments on: "what soul is not besieged" (24)

  1. I really like that…it intrigues me! There is no reason for anything at all…………. but.


  2. Intriguing and honest. A great piece 🙂


  3. masterful (!_!) the opening line grips you and holds your attention through-out the poem,

    “what soul is not besieged by rotten eggs and soft tomatoes”


  4. Wow! Outstanding write!


  5. Painfully realistic.


  6. I’m in complete agreement with zendictive, the opening is powerful. I enjoyed this piece very much.


  7. What Soul indeed…
    Bless You


  8. My mind, body and soul are certainly besieged by all those bombardments you mention – it made me think of Shakespeare’s “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”, only yours is more poetic (with apologies to Wm S, whom I love), or do I mean more immediate? The formatting adds a great deal as well.


  9. willowdot21, Poetry & Icecream, zendictive, Anon, Slowmoto, knowledgemaven, sonsothunder, Ruth,

    Thanks for reading and commenting. Really appreciate you support of this site!


  10. This is an important poem. Seems to me to be one for the ages.

    Cannot thank you enough, really, for your comments on my dVerse Poets Pub post. I so appreciated them.


  11. hobgoblin2011 said:

    Really like this a lot. Important questions here, and powerful reflections. Love the spacing and structure you chose. Thanks for sharing this


  12. Wonderful write, thoroughly enjoyed…you have a great style…:)


  13. great opening lines and love how you ask the questions…
    ..answers unreturned and questions unsent..also..unresolved cadential patterns
    that whine around the head…and a strong closure which made me go back and re-think and re-read the whole piece…much food for thought here..


  14. nice…there is a pleasant depth to this, the pondering and then the final line also seems a sigh…thanks for making the mind whirl…smiles….


  15. hobgoblin2011, pandamoniumcat, claudia and brian,

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


  16. Had to read this again….thanks for sharing


  17. just thought i’d say hi…smiles


  18. Ah, so true. “by invalidation of beliefs”
    Your lines touch the essence of the human struggle in desperately sensitive ways. Beautiful


  19. wayne and claudia,

    Thanks for revisting this post!


  20. I enjoyed what I have read of yours and plan to read more.

    Siggi in Downeast Maine


  21. A really good piece…so honest and raw, to which I’m sure many can relate.


  22. unsungpoet,

    Appreciate the comments. Thanks!


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