Artvilla Poetry Archive Joan Pond Elisha Porat Marilyn McIntyre Wayne Jackson Barbara Mountrey Janet Kuypers David Jackson Summer Breeze Free MP3s Modern Art Paintings Love Songs

Danger Poem

Flexed Against the Danger
Ward Kelley

Trust cannot ever be spoken,
for it is the aphrodisiac of faith

and, like perfume, it cannot be seen
or heard or even described; it can

only be sensed as an aroma by
the soul who is always flexed

against the danger of false lovers.
Trust cannot ever be spoken, and

the one who does speak it instead
kills it, for trust can only be earned,

quietly and steadily, always by the acts
of the lovers and never by their words.

History of the Ghost
Ward Kelley

The ghost observes his daughter graduate
from college, receiving her degree in

history; to his view she appears entirely
too young to be accepting this diploma,

she still seems to be ten years old, with
eyes who could look upon the ghost and

see only good, see the man devoid of all
his flaws, and it was this flaw of her own

sight that made the ghost worship her, for
no one else had ever sustained this degree

of admiration for such a long time, indeed
time usually diminished such acceptance,

turning most others into eventual endorsement
of all his ghostly properties . . . and here she

goes, in awkward gown, walking forcefully
toward the podium, her eyes tilted to an odd

degree, as though she saw the ghost hovering
at her elbow, thanking her ever so reverently.

Such an Arc
Ward Kelley

All fall down, all fall down, it is not
the pestilence who causes this awkward

trait of our race, for we each of us tote
the code, deep within our heart, that tells

of the proper timing of our shooting towards
the sun -- how many years we go upward --

and the correct date where it all stops --
some of us quite abruptly -- and we begin

our descent towards the earth. Up then down,
up then down, where truly we all go round

and round, but it's hard to describe such an arc
when our eyes are designed to see the vertical.

The Nearer You Come to Death
Ward Kelley

The nearer you come to death the more
you are forced to examine the nuances
of time; you used to be one with time,
happy to swim within the current, content

to allow it to swarm over you as though
you were an eel. You even looked like
time, so fluid, and this worked well for
decades. But now . . . you are turning

into an arrow, no longer able to easily
twist to the side of any impediment,
and soon, soon, you are going to strike
your own death squarely in the heart.

When you do, time will expand and no
longer encompass your soul to squeeze
it narrow, but instead you will become
the current itself . . . who seeks the eel.

Atoms of Affliction
Ward Kelley

The storm, the uncontrolled ugly event,
the elements that make the flesh squirm,

can never be worse to the skin than what
afflicts it from the inside. For such interior

events often are seen as uncontrolled or
ugly, but the elements of which they are

comprised are mostly created by ourselves,
by the way we choose the atoms of our own

affliction. Normally it is wrong to view the tempests
of the soul as weather, as something natural beyond

our control, so like a poem whose tides come unbidden
but can be funneled into a thing refined and helpful.

A Reflection of My Hopes
Ward Kelley

My hopes are children I have raised
with great care, and have clothed with
multicolored garments in an effort at
protective coloration, trying to deflect
the eyes of others from the true hope they
might display if ever they were seen naked.

My hopes are musical notes singing a quiet
tune under the cacophony of the world; they
need to blend into the disquieting symphony,
but the strain they sing is one heard only by
my own ears, and I am careful no one else
ever deciphers these notes or recognizes them.

But most of all my hopes are mirrors, for I see
they transcribe more of my own character than
they do trying to gain what I desire. It is I who can
hope and hope, yet it is they who describe better
the man I am or want to be, although they never chide,
but instead commend me for being one who hopes.

Credit list:


"comedy incarnate" on CD ROM
by Kedco Studios (Las Vegas, NV)

"histories of souls" an ebook & POD
by Word Wrangler Publishing, Inc. (Montana)

"comedy incarnate" on AUDIO CD
by Artvilla (Tennessee)

"Divine Comedy" a novel, ebook & paperback
by Word Wrangler Publishing, Inc. (Montana)

"the naming of parts" an ebook
by ZeBooks

Of the 1434 published pieces, some have found their way into:


Another Chicago Magazine
Ginger Hill
The GSU Review
The Listening Eye
The Lucid Stone
Mad Poets Review
Nassau Review
The Old Red Kimono
Porcupine Literary Magazine
River King
Sulphur River Review


Adirondack Review
The Animist
Big Bridge
Lynx: poetry from Bath
Melic Review
The Paumanok Review
Poetry Magazine.Com
The Rose & Thorn
San Francisco Salvo
Thunder Sandwich
2River View
Unlikely Stories
Zuzu's Petals

As for me, I'm a 52 year old business executive with 3,600 people in the division reporting to me. I only mention this because in a sense the daimon that propels my occupation also propels my poetry. For instance, Gertrude Stein once said, "If Mr. Robert Frost is at all good as a poet, it is because he is a farmer -- really in his mind a farmer, I mean." So in my mind am I a businessman who writes poetry, or a very minor poet successful at business? Who knows? Yet I tread carefully with this balance for fear my daimon will leave me, or my greed will taunt me for decades.

Formerly I managed distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, Arizona and Illinois. My wife and I now live outside of Indianapolis and are currently toiling with much determination on our second crop of children, having adopted four wonderful girls and fostered several others.

Ward Kelley has seen more than 1400 of his poems appear in journals world wide. He is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee whose publication credits include such journals as: Plainsongs, Another Chicago Magazine, Rattle, Midstream, Zuzu's Petals, Ginger Hill, Sunstone, Pif, Whetstone, Melic Review, Artvilla, Thunder Sandwich, Potpourri and Skylark. He was the recipient of the Nassau Review Poetry Award for 2001. Kelley is the author of two paperbacks: "histories of souls," a poetry collection, and "Divine Murder," a novel; he also has an epic poem, "comedy incarnate" on CD and CD ROM.


Thank you for your visit to Danger Poem. Take the Artvilla tour Bus to surfing for fun:
Thinking of You Poem
Drop Out Poem
Burnt Offering (Doug Tanoury Poem)
Oil Painting of Flowers
Danger Poem
Famous Internet Cat 4
FIDELITIES ~ Elisha Porat
Dog Story Pudelpointer not Puddle Pointer
Storm Poem
Downsized Poem
Golden Years Poem
Poetry by Elisha Porat
Janet Kuypers poetry
Rebecca Jackson menu
At The Beach Poem by Doug Tanoury
Demons Poem
The Trouble with Loving You Poem and Song
man in mirror silkscreen

Search Artvilla Link to this page

Highlight the text and copy