No Man Is An Island


The poem below has a title borrowed from the English poet John Donne. It was not the title of a separate poem by Donne, but instead was a line included in his “Meditation XVII,” which was from a longer work entitled “Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions.” My poem, I hope, gives a modern view of the basic truth of the “oneness” of our human race to which he referred in his own immortal words.


public domain ambulance imageA siren wails,
And in our modest town,
From one end to the next,
We hear its cry.

And though we try
To keep our focus sharp
Upon the tasks at hand,
We feel the pain.

We know the strain
Of facing hurt and fear,
Of crisis, loss, and tears,
And wonder – who?

Naught we can do,
Except to pray for God,
Who knows the victim’s name,
To give His aid.

And prayer being made,
We focus once again
On our own lives, until
A siren wails.