The War On Women IV: Hatching ©

By Roy Dean Doughty

Written April 20th, 2012

Listen here for my reading of “The War On Women IV: Hatching.”


This is not pain,
But a need to finally placate
Those murdered and displaced
From the Nation’s body.
This is no nightmare,
But a beautiful apparition
Like the first change of color
From night’s relentless shadows
To an eggshell blue
That begins to summon green.
The earth does not shake,
And the sky does not take fire,
But a ghostly reversal
Has dropped the future behind us,
Where we see the wound
We’ve torn in the father’s side,
As a channel that guides us
Into the heart of fear.

It is here that we hear
Old tribal choruses
From the lips of women
Conflating laughter with prayer.

It is now that we feel
The magnitude of the trauma,
As the mothers lift
The sweet medicinal manna,
From the pouch of a night
Where we dream
Of a crack in the shell.

The War On Women III: The Dead Troubadour ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written April 11th, 2012

Listen here for my reading of “The War On Women III: The Dead Troubadour.”


A double summer brightness
Infuses these spring mornings
Born from late winter storms.
And the near hysteria of bird cries
Reminds Sir Laureate,
The King’s chosen versifier,
To dedicate again,
Those flattering strains,
Which tell His Highness
“Faith relies on Reason.”

Wet wood’s resinous musk,
And the smell of grass
Producing grasses
With the lusty fecundity
Of some green, pervasive animal
In rut, these seasonal urges
Might reconcile us
Even to Sir Laureate’s atrocities.
We might deign to dress for dinner
And re-enter those bland salons,
Devoid of spring’s entangling colored ribbons.
We might stare at the charcoal portrait
Of a lady, approving her bowed head
And lowered eyes.  We might slip our knife
Back in our trouser pocket,
And tight-smiled, join this Christian company,
Of the obediently self-anointed.

Maimed rhythms and unrhymed vendettas
Rebel against these blandest policies.

We have not forgotten the war against the bees.
We recall the stench of acres of burning grasses.
We remember the corpses of children rotting in ditches.

The government’s decrees be damned!

Sir Laureate lies naked in the grass,
His body desecrated, a mucilage
Of colored viscera, blasted by sunlight,
Plucked apart by birds.
The lady has escaped her black pastel,
Her green faith armed against the King’s red reason,
Her wild eyes starred with vengeance for her children.


The War On Women II: The Knock at Midnight ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written April 10th, 2012

Listen here for my reading of “The War On Women II: The Knock at Midnight.”


Obsessively vigilant, the sky watchers,
Good sons of vigilant mothers,
Possessed a militaristic capacity
For disciplined effort.
And so, when the night’s darkness fell
On this spring dawn
As silvery veils of rain,
They read it as an evil premonition.
They could not help but see
These violations
As a dangerous woman in a sable bodice,
The moral density of a purple flower
Voluptuously tucked between her breasts.

They say, those men born into uniform,
That it is nature’s law
That even our most intimate relations
Express themselves as combat:
Repressors perpetually battling activators.
While the others, the soldiers’ apologists,
Those men born into academic tweed,
Explain: “This is the animus of the mother,
Who always eats the innocence of her children.”

Mrs. Flórez, her husband strangled,
Was snatched away at night
While her children screamed.
It is raining.
And in the morning,
No one has the bravado
To speak of such a trivial form of death.
Instead, the men in uniform or tweed,
Resort to euphemisms.
“The feminine body — the dark, the rain, the dawn —
“Is to be subjected to preventative detention,”
A measure, they claim, designed for her own protection.
But when night comes
With spring’s soft warmth and wet,
And the body’s house exudes its purple calm,
Their words are truncheons beating down the door.