Sparked by Words

Struggles on the Ground

No matter the struggles on the ground

The fire or earthquake or flood or revolution

You still awake to the baby’s cries and rush

To quiet her, diaper her, lift her to your breast


Rain descends, rivers run to oceans, wind rises

Dust settles on the white linens, grit mars the table

Boys and girls beg for a story and pencils

Babies turn in the womb, mouths reach for a kiss


No matter how weary your back bent to task

Your spirit slashed by fever, worry, conflict

The electric bill must be paid, bread bought

The children need breakfast before school


Surgeons raise their knives over ill flesh and cut

Farmers plough fields and force seeds into earth

Fishermen drop nets so deep in the sea they vanish

Some get well, some harvest, some eat, some drown


No matter the guns in the street, rockets overhead

The body bows to its insistent daily needs

Before you stand, work, march, weep, shout, fall

You must park outhouses along the battlefield


An old woman reads documents and diaries

An old man sorts certificates and photographs

They write their letters to their grandchildren

Wishing them fewer struggles on the ground


Just a thought 71


Homeward, painted 1881, Georges Inness, courtesy Wikimedia Commons





Comments on: "Struggles on the Ground" (48)

  1. Sharon, this poem is so true and deep. Our will and need to get through the day
    will continue in the midst of disasters around. One would think the spirit broken
    but the human need and wish to care and survive is stronger than the fear itself.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s true, innit, that life is better without the give-up in it? Good and thoughtful poem, Shari.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love poems you read and reread and lose track of time reading and thinking about them. I love poems you want your corner coffee shop to open early so you can rush down to it and tell the baristas “I read a poem today.” I love poems that add riches to something you’ve been thinking about. This, of course, is one of “those” poems.

    About two nights ago, a stag fell against my door around three in the morning. I’ve been thinking about it on and off ever since. My thoughts turned into a poem about the hand off between generations. About passing things down to younger people.

    Your poem so enriches my thoughts, Sharon. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    If you’re curious, here’s mine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is an astounding compliment, Paul. I reread what you wrote just to be sure of what I thought you’d written.
      Of course I’ll be over to your site shortly.

      I lived in Colorado for a short time, many years ago, and one of our sons lived in Boulder for a time, so I’m aware of the dramatic convergence of wildness and civilization. But a stag falling against my door – well, those that fell against mine tended more toward incidents that threw my life into chaos. I’ll have to read your poem – perhaps after all we’ve experienced the same sort of stags even if the species are different.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. […] readers might want to check out Sharon’s poem, Struggles on the Ground.  It strikes me as having themes related to this poem’s […]


  6. A powerful thought indeed… may we all persevere and strive to something beyond what is even happening in this moment. Love this one. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Charlie, for your kind comment. No matter the ordinary things we must do, are the extraordinary things we strive to achieve. And sometimes it all happens around us without us taking any note.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a thought provoking poem, Sharon. Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a mighty poem, Sharon. The small things are actually the big things, and the so-called big things shrink into perspective. Your poem is so rich with life – and the universal needs of us all. I really love this!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow, just wow, Shari. Without the mundane little things in life, the big things just don’t matter. A poetic interpretation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting comparison, Terri.

      What I meant was that for all our human foibles and suffering and even successes, other life forces go on completely unaware of us or our needs. Hurricanes don’t wait until it’s convenient for us to shelter; they rage and flood on their schedule. Armies march in spring over the crops that will feed a nation in autumn. And when we finally grab hold of a safe bench to sit on, even before the guns fall silent, our children need to be fed, someone else needs to use the bathroom, everyone eventually falls asleep. I think it’s the little things that matter most.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. what a lush dreamy quality here – & it’s true that crisis can clarify…


  11. Such a powerful, thought provoking poem.


  12. So beautiful, Sharon. I love poems and writing that seems to capture the common labors of life and somehow makes them feel not only poignant but epic. In every life is a tale worth telling and your words make me want more.


  13. Nice thoughts, Sharon. In fiction, as well as real life, we need to pay attention to the everyday details. These things make up so much the fabric of our lives. I like how you shine a spotlight on their importance here. : )


  14. Shari, a powerful thoughtful poem that has left me pondering! How true that the cries of baby can take precedence over big dramatic events outside, that in the midst of everything one always aims to provide that breakfast for the little ones! I find your last paragraph particularly haunting and poignant … may those letters make a difference, may there be fewer struggles on the ground!


    • Annika, you always respond with such thoughtfulness, it’s very appreciated. For all the awfulness in this world, and this last week has proven as terrible as so many in the past, we keep moving forward for our children and their future.

      Liked by 1 person

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  16. As always your words create powerful images in my head and also in my heart. It’s as if you’ve somehow put an IV into system, Shari – your words find their way fast and effectively. 😉
    And I couldn’t agree more- the small, the basic things and needs are those that matter most – what would we be without air, water, food and shelter? Only dust in the wind, and maybe not even that.


  17. quite well written. enjoyed this read indeed.


  18. Hey Sharon !! Strong and poignant lines. When humanity starts fading from one side of the world, the same makes way through family and love for beloveds. The affection and care for our loved ones makes us stronger in any arid circumstance. Loved your poem.


  19. Deep and meaningful ⭐️


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