March 28, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Betsy Mars







“I like to think of them as being like the plagues of locust that used to be around the world, except they eat plants we don’t care about,” said Brown. “They’re looking for what we consider weeds, and as they feed, they build up big populations”*


“[Trump] declined to join expressions of mounting concern about white nationalism, saying ‘I don’t, really’ when asked whether he thought it was a rising threat around the world. ’I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess’”**



This time

it was Colonel Mustard with a musket

in a mosque, livestreaming


deaths, screams

in a darkened down under

scarlet dream where children prayed

to dodge the bullet spray.


Professing their faith and shattered

as Mister White-with-a-weapon

taints sacred ground, leaves bodies battered.

He remakes the world in his image, an alt-right haven


& on a sunny day all across the LA sprawl

painted ladies fly unseen corridors,

weave their migrant trails above mini-malls,

take the I-5 toward the unwalled border

winging north to propagate,

some crushed on the windshield of fate.


They didn’t hear death come up from behind,

intent, as they were, on their prayerful mission.

In the musalla, a hammering of bullets stopping time.


Identify the suspect, find the weapon,

trap them in the Hall or Ballroom or Kitchen –

any Boddy™ could be ours

next time.




* https://www.sunset.com/travel/california/butterflies-swarming-socal-norcal?fbclid=IwAR1e8ugxWF32p1JHekroeBqV0L6vLSzADhOGPMSe6DkSplTkq-KGx49skKw

** https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/after-new-zealand-massacre-trump-downplays-white-nationalism-threat






Betsy Mars

Betsy Mars is a Connecticut-born, mostly California-raised poet and educator. Her parents gave her an early appreciation for language and social justice, which her childhood years in Brazil reinforced. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from USC which she puts to no obvious use. A mother, avid traveler, and animal lover, her work has recently appeared in The Rise Up Review, Writing in A Woman’s Voice, and The Ekphrastic Review, as well as in a number of anthologies and the California Quarterly.

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