September 11, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

AFP photo



Penn Kemp




So Far Sitting Pretty




While Hurricane Harvey harasses Houston

While Earthquake 8.1 devastates Oaxaca


While Irma’s Eye widens over Florida Keys

and Trump remarks, “Just get out of its way”


While wildfires torch pine forests whole and

crossing continental divide, evacuate towns


While Trump’s toddler tantrums go nuclear

to defy Kim Jong-un’s asinine missile taunt


While race hatred rages in white supremacists

and America turns her tough back on Dreamers


While refugees capsize in unforgiving, fraught seas

While Britain’s Brexit divides ancient allegiances


While Buddhists slaughter Muslims in Myanmar

While women are executed in dishonorable killings


While nightmares confront war game apocalypse

and brinksmanship totters on the edge of Equinox…




Then tomatoes gleam scarlet in the green of harvest

and hummingbirds linger in sun before migrating


Caterpillar chrysalis becomes bright new Monarch,

folding and unfolding stiff wet wings for first flight


While September long shadows our yard in semi-annual

balance between light and dark. What can we maintain?


We have read about that perfect summer of 1914

before the dam burst in bloody floods of war


We recall an azure morning behind twin towers,

scorching flame brilliant on vertical pure white


We do not know recompense. We prepare equanimity

In a world out of control we are not without hope


Hope is left for last after all evils flee Pandora’s box

In calm arising before catastrophe, we sit and wait


Sitting ducks, perhaps, yet ducks with luck, imminent

ingenuity, feathers still unruffled by storm impending






Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp is an activist Canadian poet, playwright and editor.  Her latest works are two plays celebrating local hero and explorer, Teresa Harris, produced in 2017 and published by Playwrights Guild of Canada. Recent books include Barbaric Cultural Practice (quattrobooks.ca/books/barbaric-cultural-practice/) and two anthologies edited, Women and Multimedia and Performing Women (http://poets.ca/feministcaucus/livingarchives/). See www.pennkemp.weebly.com.

Editor review


  1. amazinglyyou September 11, at 15:58

    Such a realistic poem but with a glimmer of hope and shades of beauty. Thanks Penn Kemp. Always motivating thought and imagination.Positively, Pauline Duncan-Thrasher

  2. Penn Kemp September 11, at 13:04

    I love how Tuck Magazine publishes topical new occasional poems! News that stays news. Thank you!

  3. Ed September 11, at 12:44

    I like this poem you published. Thanks.


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply