Hatred Consumes



One of my students asked me to write a poem about hate. Here it is.


There is a hate that scalds the heart

leaving welts upon the soul

bright red marks, that disfigure and distort:

marks that,

while more addition than subtraction,

still leave a person

slightly less

than whole.

This hate burns with a fiery passion

all its own,

devoid of reason or logic,

it drives one to madness,

eating away at the fabric of ourselves

leaving nothing but cinders

of who we used to be.


It torches the kind

and makes them mean,

the simplest remark untended

fuels the engine of

an all-consuming hate

lashing out at the guilty

and innocent



But worse still

is the hate that freezes

harder than ice

or stone.


This hate locks all feeling


deep within the darkest

reaches of ourselves,

numbing us to all that

is beautiful and good

in the world.


It isolates and deadens

all the nerve endings

of our heart

leaving an icy shell

incapable of trust or love.


Be wary of the soul scarred by flame

for it will seek to hurt

as it has been hurt,

but run from that turned to ice

for it is destined to carry

misery in its wake. 


One consumes its bearer.

The other consumes all around.

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