the view from my yard

Poetry of the Netherworld: the more things change



The image is a promotional photo that was taken by the real estate agency for the house that my son and I currently live in. This shows a view from the back yard. 

This is a long post consisting of free verse poetry and an explanation of the exercise used in its creation as well as some kvetching at the end. If you aren't interested in that sort of thing, please hit the back button on your browser now.

the weather is partly cloudy and fair

that isn't much change from yesterday

although I guess it's maybe a little less windy

the trees are still leafless

I can see them out the window 

of this old house built in 1909

we eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner here

the cats sleep in sunlight spots around the house

when I was six years old I dreamed

that my mother and I watched EMS crews remove

the dead body of a man in a yellow rain slicker 

who had been hit by a car on Coronado Parkway

the busiest street in Albuquerque

I had another dream about a woman 

wrapped in bandages like a mummy

her face was visible and bore the expression 

of one dismayed by her circumstances

she was resigned to her fate

cognizant of the fact that nobody

gave one single fuck

about the way she felt about anything

her body had been chopped into neat, perfectly equal cubes

about the size of the blocks that children play with

she was still alive beneath the bandages

but the priests didn't care and carried her to the pyramid

where she would be an object playing a role that they desired

her words unheard, her feelings unacknowledged

because women should be pretty, compliant dolls

ogled for their beauty but having no thoughts of their own

yesterday, my son mentioned seeing

a cast-off beer bottle on the side of the road

my town exports oil

my house exports wastewater and garbage

and poetry that no-one reads or cares about

when we drive to Denver

we see train cars with graffiti on the sides

people always think it's okay to ask 

how's your love life 

who's your lover 

who do you love?

I find these questions invasive 

and none of anybody's business

I am too worried about my poor health 

and the actions of the Orange Idiot

to even think about having to entertain a man

who only wants to put his hands all over me

to use and abuse and then abandon me

to hell with all of that

never again

if anyone thinks that they would be brightening my day

by telling me not to give up

that there are good men out there who would treat me right

well, kindly keep that bullshit to yourself

you can sprinkle it with a spoonful of sugar

if that would help it go down better

and then eat it yourself

because I sure as hell don't intend to swallow it

"The Orange Idiot is a Russian plant," I muse

As I sit here in my loose blue Capri pants and a purple T-shirt

and think that I'm not looking forward

to the summer with its relentless heat

I remember back in Albuquerque

my cats Rose and Frisky were both hit by cars

shortly before we moved

a cab driver was shot by drug dealers 

in front of our house

he was paralyzed from the neck down, and I don't know

if the police ever caught the bastards

we moved away from there a few months later

my father was subpoenaed

and had to fly back to Albuquerque for the trial

he didn't have much information to give

but he wanted to help the poor cab driver 

if only to show support for a man 

who would never walk or hug his grandkids again

I suspect there will be a resurgence of COVID-19 in late summer

when people want to go out to festivals 

and jump into the hormone mixer

I'm glad enough not to care about any of that

my son told me about a Chinese doctor

who tried to warn people about the Wuhan virus

his truth was suppressed

and he ended up dying from the virus he tried to expose

I hope he did not feel as if he failed

he tried his best to be a healer

the words of those who think too much are always stifled

suppressed, denounced, ridiculed

thinkers are inconvenient

this doctor deserves a posthumous Nobel prize

the Orange Idiot does not deserve a prize of any kind

no matter how much he narcissistically believes

that he is the bigly best

we could give him a prize for being the bigly worst thing 

to happen to this country since the Great Depression

we could crown him Commodus Reincarnated

the emperor who brings about the downfall

of a once-great society

outside my window

little birds sit in bare trees and on power lines

today's headline from MSN tells me 

that the nation now watches as Georgia re-opens

I don't know what to say

other than "I'm not surprised" 

and "that's a bad idea"

my son said the other day 

as we drove to remove more stuff 

from the mobile home that I used to live in

that one of the reasons the Spanish flu in 1918 

claimed so many lives

was because people became complacent 

after the first wave died down

then a second wave hit 

and they weren't taking precautions anymore

technology may change 

but people remain the same

yesterday when I was visiting

my mother showed me an old box 

containing a card sent by my great-aunt 

with two collector coins inside

there were pressed flowers in the box

and a card that I had written

in memory of someone who died in 1980 

who deeply touched my troubled life

my mother pored over the message 

on the sealed envelope

I took the card from her 

and told her that it was personal

I said I didn't want to talk about it

I put the card back in the box

my family wasn't much for privacy

they always wanted to know what I was thinking

and then told me I was wrong

I suppose that's not much different from most people

who always harshly judge those they don't understand

John River said that in this world 

no-one can be different or strange or damaged 

or they lock you up

he didn't mention that they can also sentence you 

to create your own prison of shamed silence

despite assuming the appearance of a free spirit

no-one understands someone like me

it's best to keep quiet 

head down, don't give away too much

no-one wants to hear it anyway

except for unicorns, pegasi, and alicorns

when my son was little, I read him "Good Night Moon"

we lived close to Denver then

in the town where we live now 

if you walk three minutes down an alley 

you find yourself behind a group 

of run-down modular homes

in Denver, you would see the backside 

of dilapidated townhouses or apartments

and the alley would smell of piss and spilled booze

around here, people keep their drinking to themselves

we don't have a homeless population

but many of us would be 

the homeless population anywhere else

if I walk to the edge of town I hear the sound 

of the oil trucks driving by

I fear dying having accomplished nothing

my town doesn't have a postcard because it's too small

on the sign that says "welcome to Grover"

there are some kids and farm animals

I don't want to live in the city again

I'm happy to stay here

I'd be okay with dying here

I just wish my words would be heard first

the Internet has always amazed me

it has the ability to reach billions of people

and yet I am still lonely and misunderstood

with no-one wanting to read what I say




If you enjoy my work, please consider purchasing a copy of my current poetry collection, Another Autumn, for just 99 cents on Kindle.


Content coyright 2020 by Cara Hartley


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April PAD Challenge: write a change poem


NaPoWriMo: Take five minutes to fill out the Almanac questionnaire and then write a poem from your answers.


Five minutes, my ass.           

Almanac Questionnaire

Weather: partly cloudy and fair
Flora: trees still leafless
Architecture: an old house built in 1909
Customs: we eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Mammals/reptiles/fish: cats

Childhood dream: I remember two very vivid dreams from when I was six years old. In one dream, my mother and I watched as EMS crews removed the dead body of a man in a yellow rain slicker who had been hit by a car on Coronado Boulevard in Albuquerque. This was a very busy, fast-moving, and dangerous street. 

The other dream involved a woman wrapped in bandages like a mummy. Her face was visible and had an expression of someone saddened by circumstances, resigned to her fate, and cognizant of the fact that nobody gave one single fuck about the way she felt about anything. Her body had been chopped into equal cubes about the size of the blocks that children play with.

I honestly feel that both of these dreams were precognitive revelations of the way my life would play out. I have always felt like I'm an observer rather than a participant, and I have always felt ineffective when it comes to helping others because I have no resources to offer. Regarding the second dream, I have ended up being a fractured person whose hopes, dreams, and very self has been cut up and shaped to fit certain roles that others think I should fill with no regard whatsoever for what I think or feel. I am disrespected, disregarded, meaningless. I am unheard and unloved. I am not a human being, I am an object. I am nothing, I am no-one, and I don't matter a bit.

Found on the Street: a cast-off beer bottle

Export: waste water

Graffiti: on the side of train cars

Lover: what is this "lover" you speak of?

Conspiracy: The Orange Idiot is a Russian plant

Dress: loose-fitting blue Capri pants and a purple t-shirt

Hometown memory: My cats Rose and Frisky were killed by cars. A cab driver was shot by drug dealers in front of our house and left paralyzed from the neck down.


Notable person: the Chinese doctor who tried to expose the Wuhan virus before it spread and later died from it. He deserves a posthumous Nobel prize. The Orange Idiot does not deserve a Nobel prize.

Outside your window, you find: little birds and bare trees

Today’s news headline: Nation watches as Georgia re-opens. Good luck with that. My son was saying the other day that one of the reasons the Spanish flu in 1918 killed so many people was because people became complacent after the first wave died down, and then a second wave hit and they weren't taking precautions anymore.


Scrap from a letter: My mother found an old box and showed it to me when I was over on Wednesday. There was a card in it from my great-aunt which included some collectible coins. There were pressed flowers and a sealed card that I'd written to someone who had died in 1980. The card was sealed and I didn't read it, but my mother pored over the message on the outside of the envelope. I told her it was personal and to please put it back in the box. I was reminded that my family never had much regard for my privacy or my personal thoughts. Of course, this isn't very different from most people.

Animal from a myth: unicorns, pegasi, and alicorns

Story read to children at night: good night moon

You walk three minutes down an alley and you find: the backside of dilapidated modular homes

You walk to the border and hear: the sound of trucks going by

What you fear: dying having accomplished nothing

Picture on your city’s postcard: my city is a very small town. It doesn't have a postcard.


This work is cross-posted in these places:



You have to be able to smell your audience, and the main audience at Publish0x stinks for this kind of post. They are primarily looking for information on cryptocurrency and other investment information.


I can't say that I've been entirely happy with my experience using Publish0x. I don't really have any complaints about the platform itself. Overall, it's great, although I really wish there was a feature allowing me to switch to HTML for post creation. It would make my life a lot easier. I love the idea of being able to receive tips for my work, although I rarely receive such, which is discouraging. My complaint stems from the fact that the main users of Publish0x are the wrong audience for artistic and creative bloggers.


I continue to use Publish0x as a platform for publishing creative posts because of the ease of sharing these posts with a potential audience. It's discouraging to look at my stats for posts such as this, which involve views but no likes or tips. I wish there was a setting that I could utilize to prevent posts like this from showing up in the "new posts" feed. I don't want to waste people's time, but I do want to utilize the advantages that Publish0x offers.

You can check Publish0x out for yourself here.

So far, I have been posting to BitPatron, Ko-fi, and Patreon for a week and have acquired no subscribers. I share these posts on Facebook, Tumblr, and LinkedIn and they generate no response. I get views on Blogger but very few responses. My books have almost no audience, and, consequently, very few sales. I am extremely discouraged.


I have stopped saying that my work's lack of renown is because it's bad. I know it isn't bad. It just doesn't appeal to the general public. This probably shouldn't come as a surprise to me, because I don't appeal to the general public either.


I have found myself becoming (more) depressed since restructuring my blogging procedures. Getting used to my new system is stressful. The fact that it hasn't brought me an increase in audience size or support is depressing. I'm not sure how long I should continue with my new system before calling it quits and going back to primarily using Blogger, where I also had a minuscule audience who rarely engages with my work and provides even less conversion to products sold.


I don't know, Man. Money and popularity shouldn't be the reason for doing creative work, but having none of either kind of sucks. I can only assume that I'm crazy because I keep writing even though the numbers show that my work is an abject failure. 


I'm pretty sure that I need to increase my dosage of Fukitol.



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Old school blogger. I know a little bit about a lot of things but not a lot about anything. I blog about all sorts of things.

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