Donna Kathryn Kelly

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Things the Internet Has Ruined


The afterlife, I suppose,
Is a no-selfie zone.
And so, when all of
These people
Who fall or drown
Or are electrocuted
Each year
While staging to take
A digital image
Of themselves,
Dying for likes
In some dangerous, scenic place,
Arrive to eternity,
Above or below:
How long does it
Take them to realize that,
Though theirs was the will,
The smartphone was the device,
And they don’t get to bring it along with them?

“Things the Internet Has Ruined (Interiority)” read by Donna Kathryn Kelly.

Things the Internet Has Ruined


A poem inspired by the life of Mother Dolores Hart

She went from kissing Elvis
To chanting in Latin
Eight times a day
In a Benedictine convent.
Just gave it all up:
The glitz,
The glamour,
The green,
Because she received a
Call from the Agent,
The only real Agent,
Of all that is Good
And all that is Grace,
And all that is Glory.
So, she cast away Hollywood
In the bloom of her youth,
And she embraced this new life,
Away from the prying cameras,
Away from the crowds,
Decades before the Internet,
Years before self-worship had become a viral thing,
At a time prior to the world having been intoxicated
By the noisy rush of blue-light images.
And maybe she knew
The future would turn into this
Ripping apart of humanity,
So that it was better to step away,
Take a pause,
Retreat into the hands of God,
To a safe place,
A certainty of place,
A place of servitude,
A life of interiority,
A prayer to the King of Kings.

Donna Kathryn Kelly’s poetry has appeared in literary journals and anthologies such as Pasque Petals, Southern Arizona Press, Oakwood, Snapdragon, and North Dakota Quarterly. In 2022, she received an Honorable Mention in the 91st Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition (Non-Rhyming Poetry Category). Kelly is the author of The Cheney Manning Series, a collection of suspense novels about a criminal defense attorney turned amateur sleuth who investigates mysteries in the Fox River Valley area of northern Illinois. The Cheney Manning Series is available for purchase on ( You can find out more about Kelly

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Photo Credit: “Dangerous Selfie” by Juan, CC BY-NC 2.0, via

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