Sullen Sorrow


Sullen Sorrow

Weeping eyes dwell within--
temples of sullen sorrow.
Falling tears on earthen dust,
mold the visions of  their morrow.
Crumbling clumps of drying clay,
awaited destine of mournful shrines.
Woeful children in sanctum's hold --
sip cups filled with bitter wines.

Tainted brews of despairing fate,
stirred by willing hands of shame.
Each small portion greedily poured,
not one server accepts the blame
Abundant treasures in kingdom's hoard,
benevolence for hope ever denied.
Weary temples topple and fall--
consumed by tears that they've cried.

 Sanctums arrive imaging God;
blind pretense curses them all.
Uncaring depths of shallow souls,
turn about to suffering's call.
Wail of children beyond clear sight,
considered burdens few pretend to see.
Self-indulgent hail the pennies pledged,
loathsome smirch to each dying plea.

 Tending touch brings eternal's scorn,
death creeps inside bedding's rest
Makeshift pillows of sordid dread--
mocks the comfort of mothers breast
Trembled lament pierces the sky;
cradled in arms is the child she bore.
Shell of misery splattered with tears;
a bit of clay crumbles once more.

Haughty fascists with defiled hands,
heaping measures gathered to own.
Pity the tumbled without a hope;
come all forward off your throne.
Children cry from hunger's keep;
life is lost to trickles shared.
Lesson the sorrows formed in tears,
sanctum's temples all be spared.

 © C.E. Vance

Author's Notes/Comments: 

A work that I'm not fond of. It's too preachy, which is not what I wish to convey in my writings. Also, it's too similar to my work, 'Dust for Winds'. However, everything that I put to page sounds the same to me. It's just a continuance. All in all, they're just a handful of words and nothing more.

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circle of forced smiles

Sitting in her office she looks out the window past a parking lot into nothing.


Smiling a smile with such abandon she almost forgets that it is forced, never to be real, never to be genuine.


Thoughts of the past, present, future, pain, hunger, endless work to feed her children.


Memories of aid, food stamps, cold.


She turns her chair to face the green wall. Life never changing. Work until she dies. Help her children to survive only to repeat her mistakes, to become her, to live her life.


Alcohol. hunger. poverty. like her mother, like her grandchild. The circle that keeps her going, the thoughts that plaster the strained, unnatural,  smile on her face.




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Vein Of A Disturbed Heart


Vein of a disturbed heart

From the filthy city, it was conceived

five minute stop for the wretched

sanctuary for the breadless


Vein of a disturbed heart

Paradise, they believe

Persistent alm taking

Insolence, they receive


Vein of a disturbed heart

Blood-shedding pen, I shall give

Remembrance to the ill-fated

Strangled by this society-taught deed

Author's Notes/Comments: 

A poem I wrote while I was in one of the smaller streets of Manila, where a beggar approached me and asked for money in which i refused to give. Please do give your comments and insights! constructive criticism is highly appreciated!

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(photo from usnews.nbcnews.com)

She wanted so much more,

Because private schooling

And a 200 square foot closet

Is not enough space,

For a heart that wants to feel

What life is really like.

What life is really like

Is when she walked into the dark,

And ate leftover twinkies

From rat-ridden garbage cans,

Where stray cats would claw 

Beneath the emptiness she felt.

Beneath the emptiness she felt,

The place where her memories began,

A place with lace-draped windows,

Gourmet meals, french pedicures,

Maids that emptied her trashcans,

And that became her dinnerplate.

And that became her dinnerplate,

Among a cluttered street,

In summertime the air was sweet,

Rotten fruit she couldn't eat,

And then awakened by a garbage truck,

As rodents scurried by.

As rodents scurried by 

A passing stranger sat to cry,

No more than twenty yards away,

She watched another left to die,

Then reminisced of life now passed,

She asked herself, but why?

She asked herself, but why

Is someone born into this life?

And me, another child the same 

Born with affluence so rife?

So ill prepared to see the truth,

She wanted so much more.


1:22 AM 8/2/2013  ©


Author's Notes/Comments: 

Photo is not of my creation.

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thrown under the bus

nowadays all she does is whine about her bodily pains,

but when you were left alone, 

she stayed drunk, prowling the bars

days on end, 

oblivious to the emotional wreckage left

on your chest, like a hot iron

melted through the tender heart of a 10 year old,

the open wound to the 


cauterized shut

too soon,

without even leaving any open flesh

for the pain to be released,

seared closed with the shame, pain, and false pride of generations,

sealed in for years like a safety box of magnets,

pulling you towards anything and everything self-destructive

in a desperate search for some morsel of hope,

that the next christmas dinner might be more than 

knocking on the doors of neighbors, being lucky enough to be

asked in to share a holiday meal, 

and an attempt to be noticed for something other than the burden

you were to her deep and fervent longing for 

the escape, into smoke filled rooms,

that reeked with the heavy, putrid smell of week-old frying grease,

cigarettes, and hairspray, that became one of your main

reasons for going to live with your dad--

other than the day she up and left for california,

a 50 dollar bill to substitute her mac and cheese, dribbled with 

one and a half inches of ashes off a pall mall,

only to be less than reluctantly welcomed by him,

and a stepbrother who most always was 

notably more worthy of better dirtbikes, nicer clothes 

and a much more frequent pat on the back 

for a job well done, 

that most often wasn't.


a dollar for him and quarter for you, along with the bottom bunk,

that smelled like pee from all the years he wet the bed,

only ever good enough for sloppy seconds--

and then there was brownie,

poor broken down swayback, with skin infections,

baldspots and degenertive bone disease,

in light of your brother's black stallion stud,

as if the 6 inch scar on the back of your leg wasn't enough 

from your father's drunken rage with a 4 inch hunting knife,

and the glass from the window that left it's souvenir the night he threw you

across the room, all before the age of 14.



i may have shot that horse between the eyes too.





11:37 PM 6/26/2013





Author's Notes/Comments: 

Just a poem about a kid.





Real Life

She was a military woman, a depraved childhood,
Hidden in the closets of her parent's small apartment,
Most of the day feeling ashamed,
Escaping into fantasy, was all she understood,
Grandma brought her fresh flowers from work when she could.


In the fall one year her father lost his job,
And mom became depressed and did little but sob,
At the age of 18, with nowhere to turn,
She joined the military thinking a trade she might learn.


The things she witnessed were nothing she expected,
Leaving her torn, dented, and disenchanted,
The raping of her soul by the men of honor were often,
Once again tormented, only a role to play, 'the soldier in action'.


Then her prince came to her rescue, and marry she did,
Before the bullet to his brain left her lonely, him dead,
Four small children lost their father that day,
How would she support them, or even make her own way?

Losing her wits she donned grandma's example,
She buried the casket alone, as the whiskey was ample,
She would face this head on, and carry the weight,
Of the childhood shame, isolation, and rapes.


Everyday in her struggle, she now fought a new war,
Her friends with benefits from her nights at the bar,
Her need for self honesty grew bigger each day,
And slowly but surely, her patience gave way.


It had now been only 2 months she buried her man,
The pain took control and our new life began,
She came home one day and the liquor took hold,
All the pain from a life's burdens began to unfold.


Her baby said, "Mama, can you read me this book?"
She lost all awareness, and gave her a look,
Her inadequate nature is all that it took,
She lost all control and her body shook,
The fairytale story flew into the wall,
The baby was shaken against the whitewall,
Again and again and again and again,
Blood spurting all over the rug, wall, and den,
Now this tragedy's taken control of us all.


It's been 20 long years since I've spoken to mother,
My days fill with diapering a 30 year old child,
The brain damage baby sustained in the event,
Will never change how my mom's fairytale went,
My other two siblings do well for this life,
We've been dished out reality...slice by slice,
One thing we all learned about handling stress,
Is that whiskey sure makes it much worse of a mess,
Now, on my way home from work I pick flowers,
I sing songs to baby and take up our hours,
With all that's befallen our lives from that day,
I've placed fairytales in their place, and that's where they will stay.



3:48 PM 5/9/2013

Author's Notes/Comments: 

One of many stories about how tragedy happens in many families born into poverty.

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Having it all or Not having it all?

Having it all means being satisfied with what I have. It means being happy with the gifts God gives me on a day to day basis, which I usually am not. Why? Because I am on Supplemental Security Income, which is the lowest level of disability one can receive in America. Therefore I barely have enough to get by. Since my wife is also on SSI we get the married rate, which is just over $1,000.00 per month. That may sound like a lot of money but it actually puts us somewhere like 60% below the federal poverty level!  

This is why I have trying so hard to launch my new magazine Mid-Ohio Valley Poetry Magazine. The only real skill I have is that of writing. I think editing this magazine and publishing it may be my ticket off of the government disability nipple. The problem is that I'm not getting subscribers. The magazine is well worth it. It will be between 7-10 pages long, stapled along the sides, with various genres of poetry in each issue. It will also have a dynamite Christian column by our permanent Christian columnist Kathy Nemec. The first issue will be printed in June. Subscriptions are $15.00 for postal delivery to the USA only. $10.00 for the e-zine. The June issue will feature haikus, short stories, and some free style poetry also.

I want to get off of SSI so badly and the magazine is my only shot. Buy subscriptions and advertise for me. That will allow me to truly have it all. You see I used to lie to myself and tell myself that I was okay on disability. Then my family started doing without things. I didn't notice for a long time because I was strung out on medications and alcohol. Now I'm sober and I see them doing without food. I see clothes piling up because I don't have $1.00 to buy laundry soap. I won't allow that. I need income. I can't drive to a regular job due to epilepsy. So my magazine idea has to fly. You guys are my family. I wanted to pitch you first. You can subscribe through my website www.marvinspoetrypage.com.

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Born into a life of poverty hardship and squalor
where hunger bites and disease is rife
in the dirty cobbled crowded streets
where it's a daily battle
to stay to stay alive
and find a morsel of food
to survive.

Uneducated illiterate
caught in the poverty trap
drinking polluted water
from the same cholera riddled tap.

An impoverished woman
sells her body for a bottle of gin
and a lodging for the night
a pickpocket and mucher
ever watchful wait for a victims
pocket to alight.

Children run through the narrow streets
dressed in rags no shoes on their dirty feet
the putrid smell from the gutter
and the thick smoke
from the choking bellowing chimneys
make it hard to breath
rats as big as cats
scurry and spread disease.

Dilapidated buildings covered in black soot
horse manure and raw sewage under foot.

Beggars flea infested with large mournful eyes
reach out pleadingly to the passing gentry
to fill their bowls with plenty.

A peeler posts a notice
of a forth coming hanging
at the local Gaol on a rusty nail
for the few who can read.

A desperate mother
with hungry children
steals a loaf of bread from a market stall
a yell goes out 'thief'!
and she is soon captured in the sprawl.

The judge sentences her to 10 years penal servitude
far away over the sea to Botany bay
but she dies upon the ship of fever
upon the way.

Her children are sent to the hellish workhouse
for the poor not to see their Mother no more.

A nightmare of a life of poverty crime and squalor.

Peter Dome. copyright.2012.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

For mortality rate of inner city children at the time, was as high as 74%,died before the age of 5.

A mucher, was someone who robbed drunks and the dead, A peeler was a early policeman, named after their founder, Robert Peel. A Goal, was a Jail, that's how it was spelled at the time.

People could be sentenced to years of hard labour, and sent to Australia simply for stealing a loaf of bread.

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To Know You More


To know you more.

To love you Lord,
by actually caring
for the poor, the sick, and despairing
and those who are dying
each and ev-er-ry day.
To heal the hurt and love the unloved
of the land where love is contraband, hands
full of guilt not free, fully engaged
in saving their souls, hearts enraged
against wrongs done them but closed to grace,
closed to the King of Kings, closed to the very One
who changes everything.
(Stop living in
battles won and lost)
Doesn't matter the cost for the lost are out there
and they don't know you.
So this is my prayer.

Lord Jesus -
To know you more.

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