Seeking Safe Harbor ~ Philip Brent Harris


Found Verbiage Free Verse

Exploring what haiku, poems and stories can be garnered from the headlines, sub-heads and captions (the bold-faced type) in my local daily newspaper, I began to wonder what this says about our existence at this moment in time. Like snapshots, capturing images, emotions, our greater story expressed in our headlines. I’m trying to create both positive and negative expressed on a given day to freeze it for later review.

It is so easy to see the greed, corruption, violence, degradation and destruction which surrounds us in national and international news. When our political and religious leaders, our bankers, arms dealers, drug lords and others who desire only to help themselves are little more than bullies, how do we fight back?

Yet, I know there are people, me included, who have hope, and seek change, who believe we must choose to change our paradigm, to choose to grow up and put away the toys of war and violence of our youth, to understand that all human beings are simply people and are equal and deserve equal treatment. This is not only true for law but all of our actions, reactions and interactions. So to explore this belief, I’ve created these diametrically opposed verses, one reflecting our darkness and one reflecting light. I present, Ordered to Attack and Easy Rhapsody, taken from the same headlines of the same paper on a single day.  

Ordered to Attack

State strikes down status

Of all women under law,

Defining mother as only role.

Examples executed without warning.

Homeless banned by court order.

Thousands suffered assault, left

Lying on the ground, bleeding;

When soldiers ordered to attack.

Police open fire on stunned crowd..

Despite struggle, more than 100,000 dead.

Conservative extremism apocalyptic.

Anonymous wealthy ebullient.



Reimagine people, different,

confident, complete, fair. Caregivers

sharing hopes, play, wisdom and

a life of richness, fidelity.


Equality keystone to challenges.

Leaders worth holding power.

Grand reward, protected options,

art, culture, like lovers, easing recovery.

Change, long overdue, debuts paradise.

Creativity fills every table.

Patient, well-deserved peace,

as easy rhapsody sings.

Note: I wrote these particular verses in 2013. I’m sad to see how well they apply to our current unrest, rampant unemployment, evictions, racial and women’s rights struggles. With the complete mismanagement of the pandemic, climate change, hurricanes, floods, fires, drought, record temperatures, extended heatwaves, voter suppression, draconian abortion laws, systemic racism, and continuous lies from our leaders, we’re going backwards. Let’s change that.


Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment


See more of my creative offerings and opinions at:

Brent Harris Fine Art

Philip Brent Digital Art

Vida Voices

Please, leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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