Joy Martin

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Innocence’s Ascent

Bullets fly out from guns propelled by shooter’s hand and
soundly land in the bodies of those who fight for this land.
Twenty soldiers in the Hood fall to violence showered down,
four dead…

The news is interrupted by a commercial that pays for its display.
Balloons, pure, white, innocent, a targeted message to convey,
tempt us to fill up shopping carts with things for which we pay.

When a child, I viewed a balloon’s ascent as something magical
as it soared above the problems of the earth soiled below.
As it would rise, so would my spirits climb to watch its show.

That was before I knew of pollution and the harm of plastics.
That was before I knew of consumerism and the sin of greed.
That was before I knew of war that brings grown men onto knees.
That was before I knew of bullets that do their troubled deeds.

Now, dozens of white balloons ascend into the atmosphere, carrying
with them the near-empty, bold-red basket light enough to fly.
Emptiness, waiting to be filled by life’s promises, marketed for sale.

© Joy Martin

Southern-born, Joy now makes her home in New England.  When not writing poetry, taking photographs, dancing, hiking, and singing, she makes a living in the Information Technology arena.  Her poems explore the many facets of life, including her and broader humanity’s place and challenges within it.

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3 Responses to Joy Martin

  1. Joan Dobbie says:

    When I was a little girl, in upstate NY, and like you, innocent of so much, my sister and I tied a note to a helium balloon and let it go off into the sky. It came down, like magic, in far away Vermont, and we received a reply from the couple who’d found it. Later our parents took a trip to Vermont and met the “balloon people.” If only we could create non-plastic balloons and send them out into the world spreading good will. And I’m sure we could, if we truly cared not to destroy this tiny blue planet we live on.

    • Joy says:

      Joan, thanks for sharing your delightful anecdote. In the midst of such childhood magic, dreams and possibilities take flight – and the drive from NY to VT brings them to life. Now, we release poems to chart their course toward good will to all, including “this tiny blue planet”.

  2. admin says:

    What a wonderful story, Joan and a beautiful response to this poem.

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