My Imperfect Mona Lisa

My Imperfect Mona Lisa

A Poem by Robert Ray
"

Based on a true story.

"

An imperfect Mona Lisa crumpled on cold tile,

Splatters from a deviant brush, a wall gooey red;

A hideous portrait, haunting, her vanishing smile.

She had a pretty face, I thought, mind twisted.

 

Her lover, the wicked artist on foot, drew my pursuit,

Pistol out, radio squawking, feet and heart thumping.

Out of sight, in sight, front site---shoot or don’t shoot?

She had a pretty face, I thought, blood hot, pumping.

 

Silver shields on blue uniting, shouting, sirens wailing.

Here, gone, barricaded, cowered in a random shack.

She had a pretty face, I thought, kneeling and waiting

His surrender---stained hands chained behind his back.

 

She had a pretty face, I thought in the dark, crying;

A young man with a gold badge, still new to dying.

 


© 2018 Robert Ray



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Featured Review

It's very impressive and amazing that you fit such a big moment in tiny words. It reminds me of how powerful writing can be. The way you scripted the emotion to linger until the last stanza is powerful. This entire piece is powerful. Thank you for sharing this moment and a piece of your mind.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you for the kind review. It's great to read your comments. I appreciate you taking the time .. read more
Final-Karma

3 Weeks Ago

You are very welcome!



Reviews

It's very impressive and amazing that you fit such a big moment in tiny words. It reminds me of how powerful writing can be. The way you scripted the emotion to linger until the last stanza is powerful. This entire piece is powerful. Thank you for sharing this moment and a piece of your mind.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you for the kind review. It's great to read your comments. I appreciate you taking the time .. read more
Final-Karma

3 Weeks Ago

You are very welcome!
A complete story in the poem. This is amazing. You create characters and dangerous situation. The ending left the reader with knowing. Dying is a part of life. Thank you Robert for sharing the amazing poetry.
Coyote

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you, Coyote. It's always good to read your comments. Thanks for another kind review!
Coyote Poetry

3 Weeks Ago

I liked this poem and you are welcome Robert.
What a tragic and mind-numbing event to witness and then write about. I think you have done a terrific job, keeping 'impartial', both in the reality, and in the poem , and then only showing us your emotions in the last stanza. I should imagine it is a very good thing to ' write these experiences out' ... sort of release them, and keep your sanity. Well done for writing this poem.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you for your kind words. Time heals and so does writing, at least for me. Writing this poem,.. read more
Great Aunt Astri

3 Weeks Ago

Yes, I agree, writing can get things out of one's system. :}
MONA LISA IS NOT LIKE HELEN OF TROY THAT IS FOR SURE. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS POEM IS THAT THE TWIST IT USED TO DESCRIBE A CRIME SCENE IN A DIFFERENT LEVEL. VERY GOOD WRITING

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

Thanks very much. I appreciate you reading and commenting on this one. It's quite different from m.. read more
i wonder about the gold badge .. :) i am a big fan of Live PD ..the understanding of what our Police go through with every encounter is mind boggling to me...hwo they handle such a present danger ..and many times a public that takes this very personnally, refusing to co-operate ...anyway...just a little side bar ;) if i am reading this as meant there is quick turns from 1st to 3rd person ..both are one and the same ..for me it reveals what kind of insanity is going along with such love and hate ..a dissociation personality disorder ..very dangerous .. very real in our world eh?! i have not read a poem on such aperspective ..and i feel a bit of anger when these murderers cower when cornered so much of the time...a credit to our police says i...seems so much more just when there is no giving up and the murderers death is culminated .. i like the crisp clean form ... i like the use you make of the Mona Lisa .. i like the dark tragedy ..that leaves all the depths of mental/emotional insanity to be explored in the "young man with the gold badge" ... and based on a true story to boot! nice job says i!
E.

Posted 4 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

4 Weeks Ago

Thank you, E. This was a tragic event for all involved, and the first murder I encountered on the j.. read more
Einstein Noodle

4 Weeks Ago

yes...and thank you for your wonderful service sir ..i love our vets, police and fire fighters and a.. read more
this is your best yet....triggered a strong response...the violence, at the same time the love that drew someone to another...the beauty, perfect in its imperfection....the sirens wailing, the tears...the tragedy..

j.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

4 Weeks Ago

J. Thanks for reading this piece. It's good to read your words. This was a difficult one to write .. read more
Wow, another incredible piece of writing comes to life from you! I love, once again, how much action and meaning, description and substance you pack into each line deliberately! My faves: "deviant brush," "vanishing smile,"stained hands chained." And the last lines absolutely are brilliant too. I enjoyed the rhythm and felt the beating.. my heart almost pumping as you mentioned it happening in this scene. And bringing it back to her pretty face over and over... which shows the kind of disorientation beauty can create.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

4 Weeks Ago

Thank you, Alexa, for another kind review. It's good to read how you reacted to this poem. It was .. read more
Alexa Apothic Red

4 Weeks Ago

It's great that you are able to become more real and sincere (personal) in your writing. I can only .. read more
Robert Ray

4 Weeks Ago

Thank you, Alexa. Ideal and caring words. And, yes, I was the one wearing the gold badge.
Quite the story. I always wonder how I would handle situations like these if I had to. I’d be afraid I might lose my mind. Maybe that’s why you became a poet? Nice work!

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

1 Month Ago

Thank you, Tony. One thing I learned in 25 years is desensitization is the brain's way of keeping u.. read more
Robert, this poem was beautiful and incredibly poignant. I can't imagine the things many police officers witness in a career of service. You touch on a number of emotions that really hit home: fear, horror, anger, pain, compassion, despair. You successfully draw the reader into the experience of the "young man with a gold badge" and instead of telling the story, you make the trauma tangible and bring the reader along for the chase.
You captured a real adrenaline infused urgency and the conflict between duty and raw emotion.
The last two lines really got me:

"She had a pretty face, I thought in the dark, crying;
A young man with a gold badge, still new to dying."

You portray a dynamic character who changes drastically from the beginning to end of the poem. You show the waves of emotion and how they changed with the flashbacks of her "pretty face" as the heat of the situation subsides. Adrenaline focused anger defuses into compassion and despair, too heavy for the intrepid "young man with a gold badge".

I found the pacing of this poem to be spot on. It felt like it raced forward when appropriate and took beats in the right places. I also really appreciate the awareness this brings to PTSD and the often thankless service of police officers. I know you said this was a first draft, but I can't really come up with any objective criticism that isn't nitpicking. This was a fantastic piece, thank you for sharing it.

Hailey


Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Ray

1 Month Ago

Hailey, a heartfelt thank for reading and for taking so much time to think about about and share you.. read more
This is an amazing bit of storytelling in verse . . . I admire poets who can throw out loosely-knit imagery that's suggestive of what's going on, but not always a smooth or linear commentary. Your imagery is vivid & it evokes a strong sensation in the reader, yet there's also a sense that the narrator's mind is zipping along a jumbled rocky path of what's going on here. It's the way we don't absorb an experience like this in a cohesive way, but more like disconnected blood spatters. Very well-crafted! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Robert Ray

1 Month Ago

Thank you, Margie. You hit it precisely. This was a pivotal experience for me, and it shows how th.. read more
barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I'm impressed by your nuanced writing & thankful for your service (((HUGS)))

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806 Views
14 Reviews
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Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on January 22, 2018
Last Updated on January 25, 2018
Tags: death, murder, law enforcement, police, crime, blue, PTSD, trauma

Author

Robert Ray
Robert Ray

Madison, IN



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