Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Human

Image result for human beings quote

"Listen and tell, thrums the grave heart of humans.
Listen well love, for it’s pitch dark down here."
― Hailey Leithauser (See full poem below)

“I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.” 
 Midweek Motif ~ Human

I am human. I am only human.  
 I am sadly human.  Happily, I am human.

When you describe something as "human," 
what do you mean?  

(Click "What is a Human Being?" for a slideshow.)

Your Challenge: Write a new poem giving what is human its place in the natural world, the solar system, galaxy, and/or universe.

Cruelty has a Human Heart 
And Jealousy a Human Face 
Terror the Human Form Divine 
And Secrecy, the Human Dress 

The Human Dress, is forged Iron 
The Human Form, a fiery Forge. 
The Human Face, a Furnace seal'd 
The Human Heart, its hungry Gorge.


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


The heart of a bear is a cloud-shuttered
mountain. The heart of a mountain’s a kiln.
The white heart of a moth has nineteen white
chambers. The heart of a swan is a swan.

The heart of a wasp is a prick of plush.
The heart of a skunk is a mink. The heart
of an owl is part blood and part chalice.
The fey mouse heart rides a dawdy dust-cart.

The heart of a kestrel hides a house wren
at nest. The heart of lark is a czar.
The heart of a scorpion is swidden

and spark. The heart of a shark is a gear.
Listen and tell, thrums the grave heart of humans.
Listen well love, for it’s pitch dark down here.

(Used with the poet's permission. First published in PoetryOctober 2015)

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community— 

(Next week Sumana’s Motif will be ~ "When I think about myself.")


  1. Great prompt and The guesthouse by Rumi, is one of my favourites :)

    1. Thanks. It was hard to pick only one Rumi for this prompt, but this is a favorite of mine too.

  2. I have been writing comments, and they have all disappeared!

    1. Oh! Today what I do on Poets United is coming up in my Quaker meeting! I will seek a solution!

    2. No solution yet, but some have re-appeared because I changed the name "clerk" to Susan. I'm waiting for a call from Google! Then I can sort oout what goes to PU, me, and my Quaker meeting.

      So sorry!

      Meanwhile I'm going to write my poem, adding technology to it!

    3. Trying again! I posted my poem, and hope you can see it.

  3. It's difficult to find something 'human' these days. However I tried for this timely prompt. Love the poems shared here, Susan & very specially the video. Wow!

    1. The Shakespeare or the Wonder Woman? I'm guessing the piece from Hamlet which is also in a 60s musical.

  4. A timely prompt as we contemplate babies and children being seperated from their parents and put into cages, something I never expected to see in North America. Where is the humanity in those following these "orders"?

    1. It is human to be cowardly, I find--or at least to preserve self first.

  5. An excellent prompt Susan and a hard question to answer. Thank you for all the quotes, poems and videos. I so much enjoyed reading your page.

  6. Thank you Susan for a wonderful prompt. I look forward to reading everyone's words.

  7. I am still thinking on the topic........I may be late coming up with something, as I dont want to write a rant...or do I? LOL.

  8. An interesting prompt, I couldn't resist.

  9. Susan, I am sure when you came up with this prompt you had no idea of what would be going on in this country at the moment. My poem is not optimistic about humanity.

    1. Well, yes, I did. That's why I wanted to think about it. Did you listen to the star trek video above.

  10. Susan thank for a lovely prompt, quotes and example poems

    much love...


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