4 poems by Karen Mooney from Fevers of the Mind Anthologies”PTSD” “Broken” “Kintsugi” & “Rich Pickings”

Glass, Shattered, Window, Destruction


Guilt, fear, anxiety, strangled by
restraint translates to anger
Blazing like full sun, falling in shame
hiding behind the covers of night

Piercing howls in moonlight
belie the charming macho front
Jovial, authoritative character
The strong silent type, he won't talk

Asks why you want to know
Resents his own body's ruthless
betrayal of his darkest secrets
yet he takes them out, on you


I found you this morning,
all folded up, tucked in
at the back of my mind's drawer
The one marked 'do not open'

Perhaps, it wasn't closed
tightly enough, over filled
contents ready to spill
if touched by hoping

You appeared in jewelry boxes
cards, photos, concert tickets;
in a souvenir mug that cannot be
held; its handle long since broken

for Stanley

Smashed on life's floor
our jagged edges
made handling difficult.

Confidence and strength drained
through the fractures, hairline cracks
and missing pieces.

Tenderly and courageously
we gathered the shards
of ourselves, repairing,
filling gaps with a lustre
to celebrate the transient
imperfect nature of life

A marriage of elements,
handled with care;
creating a vessel of hope

*Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold - built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art*

Rich Pickings

You escaped the landed gentry
where your beauty graced halls and walls;
pursued by men eager to demonstrate
their prowess; but you, game enough
to leave, took a flight to lesser lands.

A migrant at heart, you could fend,
plumping up when not driven to flee,
settling to raise a family.

But, caught up in the business of life,
your head elsewhere, crossing
the road proved treacherous.

An iridescent sheen, purple and green
clothed your fragile body, your neck,
circled in pearl, lay bent and broken.

A game old bird; even in death,
you were viewed as rich pickings
for the buzzard who stood over you.

Bio from 2020
Karen's poetry has been published in USA, UK and Ireland. Most recent publications include Fevers of the Mind, Re-Side Zine, Spillwords Press, Poetry NI's Four x Four, Pendemic.ie, A New Ulster and the Honest Ulsterman. A joint pamphlet Penned In with local poet, Gaynor Kane has recently been released by The Hedgehog Poetry Press.