‘Succinct truth’ poem

Today on Ethical ELA, Maureen Young Ingram invites teacher-poets to compose “succinct truth” poems for VerseLove. The idea is to write about a difficult subject with a message of hope in 10-20 short lines, playing with lack of punctuation and capitals.

Mine’s twenty-two lines but I’m letting it be.


are a dichotomous race
desperately desiring
dutifully demanding
historically unable
to extend grace
at least
each other-ward

the tome of our existence
a work in progress
pages of pain
penned in blood

some say that babies are a sign
that the world should go on

forgetting that worlds go on
without humans at all

although my dog doesn’t think so

there’s hope
isn’t there
as long as dogs
haven’t given up
on us

My son with his dog, Henry, who surely has a soul
and who loves with his whole dog heart

4 thoughts on “‘Succinct truth’ poem

  1. I admire your word coinage (the adverb, “each other-ward”), and I was deeply struck by this stanza: “the tome of our existence / a work in progress / pages of pain / penned in blood”

    But the most potent force in your poem comes from your abrupt challenge to human sensibility as the prevailing frame of reference. I do indeed hope the dogs will not give up on us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for these thoughts on the poem… all I can say is that the love and faith there in a dog’s eyes is one of the most humbling things on Earth… their souls (for surely they have them – again, those eyes!) are purer than ours.


  2. Love the emotion and truth in these lines “a work in progress/pages of pain/penned in blood”. Great ending! Hi, Henry, you look adorable in your dad’s lap. Happy late Easter. Hope you had a wonderful Easter with your family.

    Liked by 1 person

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