Comments 35

Mothers, Have Mercy On Us All

Is there a quota for mercy?

Do they give it to the younger angels,

take their hands on clear mornings,

and steer them to the edges of clouds

where they can peer over the banks

into the depths of blue beneath.

All our little prayers bubbling up

to be popped by small celestial palms

crumb dusted from the mercy

their mothers have parcelled out

so they can toss it to the mortals below.

And do some of us know the places

to stand on those clear mornings

where the young ones chatter

and rustle their down like tissue.

Which ones crumble mercy to dust

so it falls evenly and ripples far,

the others who wodge their palms

into pebbles that punch through

but settle far too soon.

Who’s voice calls them home.


Mary Mother of God have mercy, mercy on us all

Vertigo & Ghosts by Fiona Benson

This entry was posted in: Poetry


Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.


  1. What a great image – like small children feeding ducks and swans at the water’s edge. I loved the colour of this poem, all blue and white for me.

  2. I love where your last line has taken you, Carol, and the image of younger angels peering over clouds waiting for prayers, rustling their down like tissue. I hope they catch mine soon.

  3. It would be nice to know where to stand. Wonderful poem. For some reason, the old movie, “The Trouble with Angels” comes to mind.

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus says

    Angels are prevalent out here on the trail tonight. I enjoyed the twist you put on things, fun mixing with drama.

  5. Nice lines about passing mercy on: “crumb dusted from the mercy

    their mothers have parcelled out

    so they can toss it to the mortals below.”

    • Thank you Frank. I do believe that mercy is taught and it’s important to remember that children learn so much from what they see.

  6. Love the image of angels peering over, down on us….waiting for the prayers. The image of the prayers, popping like bubbles….an amazing image to think about.
    Well done!

  7. Beverly Crawford says

    Who indeed calls them home and washes their wodged hands? Nice to know they’re there, as our prayers bubble upward !

  8. There are so many facets to this poem. I read it four times and each time got a different interpretation. The most striking was the first line-the question now evokes many memories for me. I love the visual of little angels peering over the banks of clouds. I love it.

  9. Jedediah Smith says

    I really like the ambiguity – what’s more appropriate for the big questions?

    • Thank you. Religion is always a tricky subject to write around as it’s very easy to sound heavy handed. I’m glad it came across appropriate.

  10. Such an interesting image and I liked the way you carried it through for the entire poem. I was taken to the pond to feed ducks and took my own children to ponds and parks to feed the birds so its an association woven into the fabric of motherhood for me and many others, I’m sure. For me this kind of image lies at the heart of good poetry because it invokes profound associations that deepen the readers’ attention and underscore the point the poet wants to make.

    I’m reminded of Shakespeare’s “The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.”

  11. Reblogged this on Writing Wrinkles and commented:
    Mercy – one of those words that has shades of meaning.
    This poem by Carol J Forrester struck a chord with me. I hope you like it too.

Please take the time to tell me what you think, I love receiving feedback. :)

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