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Poetry: "Renewal" & "Ash Like Soil" by Matthew McGuirk


For some standing on the brink of abyss,

swirling oceans below and angry skies

jetted with lightning above,

acceptance comes

before the plunge.

Tear-soaked cheeks

with hands fitted in clutching knobs,

but acceptance comes.

For some it takes stepping off the edge

and plummeting to violent waves and sharp rocks below,

a minnow in a pool of thrashing sharks.

You’ll resurface

dragging yourself bruised and bleeding

from the maelstrom

still alive,

but wondering why.

Renewal isn't a light switch to brighten all darkness

or a perfect sunrise of pinks, oranges and yellows

from that rippling dark night.

Renewal is accepting scraped knees

and knowing marks outside the lines don't ruin the picture.

Renewal is a wave, not the whole ocean.

Ash Like Soil

I watch tight eyes

through coming waves

in a hospital bed

and hold her hand,

while others more qualified than me say,


I can’t begin to understand the sacrifice,

only knowing good things come from hard situations:

burned forests creating fertile soil,

mighty trees crashing in violent windstorms and rotting

allowing the growth of mushrooms,

or the force of water cutting curves in soil

and forming beautiful canyons.

A world apart from the greens of outside,

a life is invited to open hearts

through tightly pressed eyes.

Matt McGuirk teaches and lives with his family in New Hampshire. BOTN 2021 nominee with words in various lit mags and a debut collection with Alien Buddha Press called Daydreams, Obsessions, Realities available on Amazon and linked on his website.

Website: Twitter: @McguirkMatthew Instagram: @mcguirk_matthew.

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