James J. Stevenson

The News in Villanelle

In other news, a tragedy has cast
a small town into suicide’s despair.
All of us, as grim mourners of the past,

would offer words from playwrights who amassed
a graveyard of such deaths, but do not dare.
In other news, a tragedy has cast

a campus into shame and left aghast
those fighting for all equals who ask where
all of us, as grim mourners of the past,

were when whispered sexist slurs had surpassed
the common sense of a humanist prayer.
In other news, a tragedy has cast

the world into war, for given the vast
breadth of the beast, everyone’s brought to bear.
All of us, as grim mourners of the past,

see the stage we’re on is acting its last
and yet we pull up the boards for our share.
In other news, a tragedy has cast
all of us as grim mourners of the past.

***

James J. Stevenson, who hails from a small town in Canada, travelled the world before settling in Vancouver, where he teaches at a polytechnic institute. His poems, short stories, and comics have been published in a wide variety of journals and anthologies and he posts haiku/photography on several social media sites as @writelightning. He believes in ordered chaos and prefers to write formal poetry to have restrictions that push creativity to higher levels.

A Literary Magazine

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