Once Upon A Country

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – “Stock Phrases”  (posted by Lillian)

Once upon a time . . .

“. . . that phrase begins many a tale. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase has been used in some form since 1380 in storytelling in the English language. It’s opened oral narratives since 1600.

So – here’s what I’m asking for today. Let’s use a bit of poetic license with that phrase. For today’s Poetics, every poem should begin like this:
Once upon a _________ (you fill in the blank with any word except “time”) So a poem starting with Once upon a time would NOT fit the prompt! BUT, poems starting like this, for example, do fit the prompt:”

Once upon a lily pad
Once upon a glimmer
Once upon a noodle
Once upon a midnight


So there was this country
of power and wealth galore,
who accepted all who came
to its shore. Now, this country
hides under an ebony cloak
of lies, deceit greed.  Those
denied entrance, those
making a pittance, and those
who are hungry and homeless,
live under a golden boot, worn
by a leader whose concerns
are all for 
himself and his buddies.
This leader proclaimed
a right 
to divide, and then
he conquered.

Once upon a country, citizens
had to sort out fact from fiction.
They hoped to survive, and once
again, unite.


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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26 Responses to Once Upon A Country

  1. Truedessa says:

    Once upon a country – so sad all this turmoil going on.
    Once upon a president – was looked up to as a role model – sadly this model is missing some pieces.


  2. rothpoetry says:

    A sad story for sure… In time it will change.


  3. Maggie C says:

    Amen to that.


  4. Just Barry says:

    I prefer my horror stories to be fantasy. Still, you have your finger on the pulse of this dark reality.


  5. Gina says:

    like how you offer a solution at the end, that country will find its way again, it has good people


  6. lillian says:

    Well……..the prompt asked for the poems to begin with Once upon a…..
    That said, you’ve hit on a timely topic here. Would that this country’s Once Upon A can somehow end with that other stock phrase, “happily ever after.” Hoping the midterm elections will begin the turnaround!


  7. MYRNA ZACH says:

    if omly

    > WordPress.com


  8. Vivian Zems says:

    This is great in that you’ve combined a political angle with a true message.


  9. Oh may the country become one again… to build the land on lies will never work.


  10. Let us hope this once upon a country comes to its senses and votes for return of dignity and integrity to leadership.


  11. Frank Hubeny says:

    I like how you described this: “This leader proclaimed
    a right to divide, and then
    he conquered.”


Comments are closed.