MOOC 1: Unfelt Flames of Kate Leone

The first week of my first MOOC has blown by, and already I feel like I have grown as a poet. The feedback is invaluable. The videos, taught by instructors as diverse as the genre, have rich insights to share.

Just being part of a dynamic, writing community has fired me up. I am on fire—aflame!—for this MOOC, and MOOCs in general. I think you can still join this Massive Open Online Course. We are in week #2 and the deadline for submission is Sept. 5. Plenty of time!

Last week the assignment was to write a persona poem from the viewpoint of someone significant in history. I chose Kate Leone, one of the youngest victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire. Because of that industrial disaster, worker rights changed drastically.

So here is my assignment #1, and now on to assignment #2.

Unfelt Flames of Kate Leone

The beginning and the end

are the same moment for me

today when the flames around us

engulf the unfelt flames in my heart

and my future, my dreams and tomorrows—

and God, us and them—

and everything I know—

in a moment, turns to ash.


I am on fire—aflame!

for life, for the butcher boy

and for my expected $7

earned from my 52 loyal hours

spent cutting shirtwaists no longer in fashion

for ladies I will never know

and as the lady I will never be

in a moment, turns to ash.


Saturday night—and freedom!

approaches with the fire that blisters

the blisters that I fussed over this morning

on my tired end-of-the-week fingers.

Ignorant, I blindly wasted this day.

I let it spin by, unseen, my eyes glued on the end

where I follow the crowd, not to death, but to pay that

in a moment, turns to ash.


I have pined for the moment where I can be on fire

eager for the promised kiss that now wastes

poised on my lips, parted not from a sigh, but a cry

as the unfelt flames of my youth are consumed

by the conflagration that surrounds us all.

Dawn rose with it’s usual promise of life

never hinting at an end at the end of a day that

in a moment, turns to ash.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
This entry was posted in #AMWRITING, #MakeItLocal, #Poetry, #ReadLocal, #Submit and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to MOOC 1: Unfelt Flames of Kate Leone

  1. Pingback: MOOC 2: The Match |

  2. Pingback: MOOC 3: A Trio of Pantuoms |

  3. Pingback: MOOC 4: Finding Pivotal Moments |

  4. Pingback: MOOC 6: Folding Final Moments |

  5. Pingback: Kidnapped by Muses! |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *