Poems by Tracy Powers





I’ve always loved the aesthetic

Of neon reflections, on wet streets below

Liquid stained glass in the black of night

Black of pavement

Flowing downward in vibrant hues

Paint kissed by turpentine

Warm rain, I adore

When it trickles down in rhythm

To leave a thousand butterfly kisses

Inside your pores

While the sun shines through

Lustrous and bright

Two worlds that don’t belong together

But opposites attract, I guess


The cuddle of silken kitten fur

In a windowsill filled of hazy morning light;

Soft pillows, plush velvet blankets

Fresh & new on store shelves


Soundwaves of pleasure

moaned in secret electric whispers

Into a lover’s ears;

Scent of butter, salt, and oil

While viewing the latest blockbuster;

Taste of roasted coffee,

And tangy sweetness of a perfect mimosa

On a summer Sunday afternoon


All around

All simple

All Loved



A Mountain Pictorial


Open the pages

A pictorial

Life of the mountain folk

Left side, there’s Anna

Time worn in soul and shirt

Standing by her prized canning station

Jars of pickled wares to her right and left

A mountain of glassed goods


To the right

Here’s Robert

Stocky, sturdy, callused

All red flannel & Mack Truck, scrambled egg snapback

Showing off his antique coal stove

That once warmed the hearts and hands of old-timers

At the woodbare, wood floor country store


And I always wonder why, in these photos

Unlike the so-called city dwellers

They never, ever smile –

Interviews talk of pride and joy

Family and rural fortunes

But cameras display steel face and stone


They have a different view of love

I suppose to myself

A kind that thrives on self-reliance

Instead of fake, toothy champagne grins

A variety where survival becomes a goal

And not a bare minimum

Togetherness, community unlocks

A hope chest of the past

And unveils a mystery hidden

From urban worlds

Now in my hands, printed & bound



The Killing Floor


Within the walls of a factory farm

Or commercial slaughterhouse

One truth is clear

The animals don’t have names

No Bessie or Arnold

Just pierced ears & industrially numbered tags

How many calves did that one cow have? Where was that chicken hatched alive?

How much was put into raising that plump pig?

No one knows

And no one cares to know

To be frank

Nothing comes to light


Why would this be?

It’s simple

When choosing to see the creatures of the field before them

As pure meat

A symbol of want

And reduced to members of a nameless, faceless legion

The means to an end

Killing is easier


Inside those buildings

Built on blood and bone

You come to fathom the dangers of hate

“Just words”? Well, yes

But words of spite, ignorance, hate

Are woven by design 

To view their victims into unknown beasts

barely human


And for those with the sharpened axe on their tongue

Pneumatic gun in their hands at the ready

Thought will all too often lead to action

By their hand, their own

Or have a hand in inciting

The bloodlust in others


And then, to them

It’s time for the slaughter

But hey, they’ll tell you – it doesn’t matter They were just meat, anyway


It could be argued, of course

That often the need to disconnect

To process, to pack, to classify

Is an ugly necessity to those

Who crave meaty wares,

But we are not animals. 


Outside the 4 walls of that place

When considering human mammals

We have the ability to see beyond

A name, who they are

Far more than what group they may fall into.

But when we give in to spite

 A curious yet dangerous phenomenon- Some will do nothing less than reduce those they hate,

 for whatever reason, to nothing more than unseasoned meat

Trapped in stalls and ripe for the killing floor

To justify harming “the other”

With words or actions

Void of normal guilt


Or even to feel righteous

Exude dominance over those they see

As simple livestock and property

Cookie-cutter beasts


Let that settle in

And send a chill down your spine –

The lock of the gate clicks and rattles

Time for the slaughter



Tracy Powers is based in Oak Ridge, TN, and her writing is often inspired by the ‘traces and places’ she has experienced in life – and even some she has just dared to dream about. Her publication history includes ‘Vision’ – LiteraryYard.com, “Firestarter” –  Ariel Chart, & “The Field” – Kingdoms in the Wild. In addition, my first poetry collection chapbook ‘The Dragon’s Den’ is available on Amazon.com.

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