For the Poets in Burma

Thank you, Pedestal. You rock.


Often, they carried each other
wounded, weak
they carried pots
and pans
to bang in solidarity
against Tatmadaw,
the military.

They carried time from prison for their words
they carried scars,
from rubber bullets, stun guns, sniper fire.
They carried pain
from the murders of their friends.

Most of all
they carried Myanmar
they carried Burma
on their backs.

Inspired by ‘The Things They Carried’ by Tim O’Brien

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Odyssey Part 5

This is the fifth edition in my series, published in Inhale the NightSleeping with Earth, an eBook released by Darcia Helle and Moments at Midnight.

Find part four right here. Part one here.




Bled out on

The tiled floor..

They had pushed each other

On the swing years earlier…



Lay disfigured with

A bullet in his eyes…

Odyssey had a crush

On him before

The world spun into




Was not breathing,

And Odyssey wanted badly

to feel


anything for her…


she slowly closed

her eyes,


to darkness…


her last glimpse

of incandescent light –

an endangered species

like herself.



 A voice said

Slowly rocking her.

“Wake up.”


“Mom?” she asked, her eyes adjusting to the light.
“No, my name is Doctor McCormack.”
“Are you here to arrest me?”
“No, I’m here to help you.”
“You can’t help… I had to stop him,” Odyssey told him.

“They’re calling you a hero.”


Odyssey reclosed her eyes.

The world was calmer without color.

She was not a hero

For stabbing a maniac –

She was only another survivor

Caught between a rock,

A hard place and

A broken game…


“I see you have your mother’s ring,”

McCormick said to break the silence, checking on her medication.

“It’s become something of a legend in the ICU.”


She hadn’t noticed, slipping it back on

Before she lost consciousness.

The ring had passed between

Three lives, two of which were gone –

If only Journey could have shared it with her.


“She would have had your eyes, you know,”

McCormick said.

“How did you?”

“I was going to deliver her.

But you know, she

Stays alive in you.

So, she’s never really gone.”


Somehow, Odyssey smiled

At the thought of them

Together –

Jumping ropes,

Destroying the patriarchy –


“Life goes on,” she mused.

And if not –

She’d sure as hell leave Death

With a black eye

And stitches.


© Ben Ditmars 2021


Explore The End of NightsJourney, and more.

Thank you reading.

Odyssey Part 4

This is the fifth edition in my series, published in Inhale the NightSleeping with Earth, an eBook released by Darcia Helle and Moments at Midnight.

Find part three right here. Part one here.



She looked away

Before tears betrayed her emotions…

Broken images, a broken family

Flashed through her mind…

She almost had

Her stillborn sister…


And not a loss

clawing at her throat

each morning –

a siren

broke the chaos

in her mind…

something had happened

in the hallway

a voice told them

to block the door…

they were underneath

their desks,

one moment and the next –

Mr. Lewis hit the floor

with blood across his temple.

Another shot.

Another victim.

Odyssey counted them

in horror as her classmates fell

beneath sounds of semi-automatic

fire –

was she next?

she felt helpless

like her mother left alone

inside the hospital..

battling coronavirus…

her hand closed around

the golden circle

of her parent’s ring and

grasped.. the pen…

tied with rubber bands

around a nail…

Leanne, her mother, wouldn’t hesitate…

and neither could


the shooter turned his

back for three seconds

and she jumped

with everything she had

into the fire.


© Ben Ditmars 2021


Explore The End of NightsJourney, and more.

Or read Part 5.

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