Social Compost (an Abecedarian Poem) #AtoZChallenge

Apr 1, 2021 | Creativity & Inspiration, Poetry

Absolutes: we deal in
Black and white.
Color – once vibrant – now
Dimmed to dull gray
Effluence – our
Flaws flowing, fulgent –
Garish graffiti on our souls.
Have mercy.
It’s ironic:
Justice, blind, can’t see
Keenly how, by their absence,
Lacunae have tipped the scales –
Making chaos out of order.
Not till the eleventh hour –
Ostensibly, too late
Practically past all hope,
Questioning the who, what, where, and why of it
Restores her sight, and now
Shows clearly how
Tenacious tendrils of apathy
Unseen, like dandelion roots or
Varicose vines,
Wrap around the wooden heart –
Xylophagus. Rot, in the end, reduced to

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


    • Holly Jahangiri

      Thank you for dropping by! I’m glad you enjoyed the poem; I’m not sure where A to Z will lead me and as “Queen of the No-Niche Niche,” I’ll follow my Mischievous Imp of a Muse rather than trying to lead. But I think there may be more poems in store. I wrote this one this morning: Quiet Period. It has no theme, and would fall far too late in the month. Perhaps it will earn its keep with enough reading time on Medium.

      I do hope you’ll come visit me here again!

  1. C.E. Flores

    Very creative start to the #atozchallenge!

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Thank you! It’s going to be a fun and interesting challenge to see if I can keep this up.

  2. ahtdoucette

    Wow what are you going to do with the other 25 days? Brilliant. Learned a new word: xylophagous.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      I have absolutely no idea! (I barely figured out yesterday – started writing that at 11:30 pm, posted it just before midnight!) I will be just as surprised as everyone else…

      • Bob Jasper

        I think maybe you are a little like me. Part of the fun of writing is seeing what I wanted to say appear on the screen or page. I almost never have more than a general idea of what I’m going to say before I sit down to write. I think I’ve seen you say that before. (Odd combination “seen” – “say,” but that’s how it is here in cyberspace: people write words, you see them, and it’s as if they said them to you. I guess the same could be said in the hardcopy world, too.)

        Anyway, I loved the abecedarian. Great form and you used it well. I too learned a few new words.

        But I really came here to explore that RSS thing a little more, so here goes…
        Bob Jasper recently posted…Snow StakesMy Profile

        • Holly Jahangiri

          I don’t think it’s an odd combination at all, Bob. I write (take dictation?) what I see the characters doing and hear them saying on the 3D IMAX screen/stage in my mind’s eye. If I try to break the fourth wall and insert too much stage direction, it never works. The dream ends. The characters head for the brain’s back alley and take a sullen smoke break.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Thank you, by the way – for subscribing! 🙂

  3. J-Dub

    Beautiful poem. Full of powerful emotions.

  4. Esha

    Loved your abecedarian poem, Holly!

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried writing one. But, I’m sure it’ll be fun to try it. Will definitely be following you through the month and come back to read more poetry here. 🙂

    Good luck with the #A2ZChallenge, Holly!

  5. Bob Jasper

    I thought I had posted a comment, but maybe it got fell in the moat. Anyway, reviewed the poem again and was reminded of those precious alliterations:

    Practically past
    Tenacious tendrils
    Varicose vines (which, of course, I read the first time as varicose veins)
    Wrap around the wooden heart

    Good job.

    Now to see about the Medium RSS thing

    • Holly Jahangiri

      The Medium RSS thingy is STILL a mystery to me, Bob.
      I had fun with “varicose vines”! 🙂 I do love alliteration.
      Thank you!

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Seems like every time the Medium RSS / CommentLuv thing WORKS, your comment gets tossed into the moat. I still have no idea WHY.

  6. Bob Jasper

    No, I didn’t see the “most recent 10 posts” or anything else.

  7. Gunilla (galeriaredelius)

    I didn’t know the abecedarian poem, but love the concept, and reading yours is very inspiring! Have to admit that at the first reading, I was focusing on following the alphabet, had to read it again to take in the message. Some kind of restriction or ‘rules’ can be helpful while writing, I find.
    I’m visiting from the A to Z master list, glad I found your blog, am curious to read more!
    Gunilla (galeriaredelius) recently posted…Jewellery equals joyMy Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      I think rules are a bit like solving a puzzle. I especially enjoy sonnets. The constraints force you to think harder – not just to for the words around the structure, but to try hard to do so without sounding like you did. I think the structure shouldn’t draw too much attention to itself, but simply serve as a scaffold on which to build.

      Thank you for visiting! I’m glad you enjoyed this and I do hope you’ll return.


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