Stand Up and Be Counted!

Once to every thinking person
comes a moment to decide
whether to improve or worsen
life for those who share the ride.

In a culture populated
equally by right and wrong,
half are glorified; half hated.
All must rise to get along.

Those who choose the path of kindness
have a duty to the horde
lacking empathy whose blindness
simply cannot be ignored.

Never will the sound of silence
in the wake of cruel deeds
be acceptable. Nonviolence
doesn’t mean “abandon needs”.

Standing up for truth and justice,
quell the panic, lest we fall
for a web of lies that thrust us
straight into the devil’s thrall.

Citizen of earth and nation
striving for the common good,
raise a thundering vibration
over every neighborhood.

Only in a coalition
born of passionate desire
can a movement gain volition
going forward through the fire.

2020 Mary Boren
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The two opening lines are borrowed from a hymn written by James Russell Lowell in 1845.



Condescension’s mother is a calculating bitch
and Laziness personified’s her father.
Sister’s turning tricks and little brother is a snitch.
They never share a meal at home. Why bother?

Life within a family that doesn’t know enough
to foster self-esteem in all its members
overshadows empathy and tact. Her manner’s gruff
because her tinder’s been reduced to embers.

Seeking affirmation in a loving human spark
to no avail extinguished childhood wishes,
left her feeling hopelessly inadequate — the mark
of naked fear … and Fearful can be vicious.

Cut the girl some slack — she’s only following a script,
commanding awe without regard for kindness.
Look behind the scenes; her false bravado armor’s chipped,
a mask of power propagating blindness.


cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2013

Thank You


If life was like a scoreboard
and we each received a mark
for kindling in a rookie
an inherent human spark,
the names beside the numbers
would be cycled down in lieu
of one who gives so freely
from the reservoir of you.

Regardless of my showing,
still your total would be more —
my only consolation
is that no one’s keeping score.
So, seeing I could never
reach the top of such a chart,
I’m simply saying thank you
from the bottom of my heart.


cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren,  1995

Coming Around


The planet holds its orbit
while we all hang on and spin,
and everything that goes around
will come around again.

A smile, a friendly gesture,
simple acts of kindness shown
cannot be bought or hoarded —
they are placed with us on loan.

And so it is with hurtful words
that never disappear —
they roam the vastness over
seeking out their sender’s ear.

In unimagined future lives
as former selves, we meet
with clouded recognition
when the circle is complete.

Though some retreat in panic,
others face it with a grin
when everything that’s been around
comes back around again.


cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 1999