Vacant Skulls and Hollow Hearts

“Learning how not to do things is as hard as learning how to do them. Harder, maybe. There’d be a sight more frogs in this world if I didn’t know how not to turn people into them.” ~ A Hat Full of Sky, by Terry Pratchett

“You hate me because I despise sin,” she tells me. “Because I shan’t share my table with a man who beds another man.”

I look into the rapture burning her sight, and say, “I hate no one. But I’m disgusted by vacant skulls and hollow hearts.”

I have seen
hatred break a soul,
unlearn it

the wee notes…
– Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads ~ Play It Again Toads! (Flash 55), to Rereading My Pratchett, and to Poets United ~ Poetry Pantry 352.
– If you have a minute or three check out Rosemary Nissen-Wade’s “Thought Provokers: Some Little-Known Short Forms”, which include three of my poems with Thinner Tanka in them.


69 thoughts on “Vacant Skulls and Hollow Hearts

  1. This is absolutely profound!❤️ I believe one should not judge another nor pour venom of hatred into a soul. Loved the haiku especially ❤️ Beautifully executed.

  2. Love the artwork! The poem is a great admonishment to haters. Unlearn it! No one is born with that kind of crap in their head and heart. I hope she doesn’t need to go back with her hammer!

  3. I have to talk to a lot of people every week abotu their problems, many of whom are perfectly nice people with some very stupid opinions and beliefs. I haven’t figured out how to deal with them yet, particularly when it’s not my job to straighten out their beliefs.

  4. Yep hatred can do that. It eats away at the one hating. Funny how the intended isn’t affected by it. I should know I was on the receiving end of being hated.

  5. Magaly, I like how you have developed the Terry Pratchett quote and I love the art work! I especially like the phrase: ‘vacant skulls and hollow hearts’ and the idea of unlearning a soul.

  6. Having experienced the jackboot of hate and anger, bear down, upon m soul, for more years than I care to reminder, I do wish your poem, to become mandatory reading for all people, Magaly

  7. It’s a shame when an otherwise decent soul lowers themselves to hatred, especially over something as innocuous as another person’s right to love and be loved. I suppose people engage in it because when they’re wasting time attempting to inflict their idea of righteousness on other people, then they don’t have to look at their own shortcoming or deal with them in any meaningful way.

  8. A brilliantly constructed haibun. The haiku – so powerful in its clarity – indelible, really, in these wretched times when haters are ‘indulged’ by virtue of a gobbledygook assortment of twisted “rights” – in their right to hate. “unlearn it” … indeed. I thought the artwork was “bang-on”, as well.

    On another, note: I did read Rosemary’s Thought Provokers and thought that your Thinner Tanka were stunning.

    • Certain religions can nudge people towards really strange ideas about how they should treat other people. Thank goodness for those of us who got to run before it was too late, and for those who stay with the understanding that some of the teachings of their religion are a tad insane…

  9. I guess if we gave the offender a chance to redeem himself and things we might unlearn hate. It won’t be easy, though. Nice thoughts, clever ideas.

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