The field is wet with sunshine,
Ripe grasses green and high;
With a reaper in the meadow,
And a bird flies in the sky.
There's a nest with little babies,
With three beaks opened wide;
A reaper's in the meadow,
And a song hangs in the sky.
The meadow's ripe with summer,
And a tragedy passes by;
With a scythe in the meadow,
And a song up in the sky.
If I could wipe away the stars
I’d paint them in a row
And count them one by one
Then maybe I could live forever
But that would be a grand endeavour.
If I could wash the ocean floor
I would tie my hair up with seaweed
And I would ask the crab to dance
And his steps would be so fine
But that would be too divine.
If I could ask the skies to hear me
They’d guide me where to go
They’d show me the directions
In the clouds above the road.
If I could sing a song without words
I’d find you there in the shadows
Where the silence lives between octaves
And I would always sing on key
But that would be an impossibility.
If I could create time in an instant
I’d stop the clock when you called me
And the plane wouldn’t have to fly
It would sit and wait to be saved
But instead I cry at your grave.
On a day never unseen
when our souls are called to rest
And our bodies returned to dust
From whence they came
Whether burdened with age
Or unable to cross life's next stage
If in bed we Lia in wait
Or by force others do take
On a day not unforeseen
When the key to our creation
Unlocks the door to mans destruction
And all hope in life, LOST...!
As men have always been half
in love with death
Cyclically life and death move
For death brings us sorrow
But a day would come we will all follow
And when again life is gone
In new bodies we shall be born
In whom evil dominates
A lower being regenerates
In whom good prevails
A pure soul avails
You flourished and blurred
like a spark on wind
Gracefully and quickly like a frightened hind
in pursuit of light
You harvested through bushy meadows
taken by blight
In struggle with plight
had you lost your might
And gave out
although never you gave up.
Where are you?
For you must be still there.
For I still can feel you
somewhere in the air.
When I am bent with the vintage of the years
A stick-man having lived my dissipation through
I will be as the bough of an ancient tree.
What once was a twig
Will resemble a branch of an Old Sequoia.
I will stand tall and straight if only in my mind
My grandfather's mole in mind and the wreckage of
Years past covered with moss and tears and blessedly
Like the plans of other mice and men
My plans have gone
Astray - and
I have rejoiced in the most mundane.
October held 10 family birthdays
all between 4 houses on Troy Street.
Each night after dinner we
set out on our walk for cake.
Aunt Lory’s house was rum
Aunt Josies, buttercream frosted white,
and Aunt Lu’s lemon, bright yellow, rich and moist
could made her St. Joseph’s statue drool.
We’d gather around the birthday boy perched on a chair,
while us cousins stood, shoulder to shoulder,
eagerly waiting for the last note of the song to be sung.
I stood eye level to the burning numbered candles,
mesmerized by their melting wax dripping
down the sides like sap from a tree.
Their light, drunk on sugar, danced wildly
across our hungry faces.
Then with one large blow the room went black.
In those few seconds Darkness, like eternity
steals all their faces from my sight.
The room frozen, suspended precariously between
feast and fear, grief and gratitude, love and loss.
Lights return to applause as the knife cuts deep into the center.
Wishes like prayers are sent rising as curls of smoke
through a chimney, up, up to places far away.
Paper plates of sugar splendor are passed down and devoured.
We didn’t realize then, just silly girls with frost covered lips,
how everything of importance in this world fit at the end of that fork.
With full bellies our good-byes are said on porch lite steps.
And the moon, like a lantern, radiant in the Autumn sky
illuminates our way home till our next walk,
Aunt Mary’s luscious chocolate layer cake.
Your spirit flew to life beyond the vail.
Those aged bones were what you left behind.
Though love remained with memory and tale.
A royal heart like yours is hard to find.
Ó November 16, 2011
Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
I picture Kashmir through lightened KL. News of another massacre darkens my eyes
Winds are thirsty there. They continue to taste the young blood.
I groom myself with exquisite things,
Sipping ice tea in ac room, I comfort myself
And Kashmir burns. Kashmir set ablaze
I can smell the warm blood of beaten corpse
Where from winds bought this smell. Somewhere Karbala reborn.
Mosques are being slammed
There windows stoned. And the black boots leave their footprints on Mimber
Even God judges on evidence
There is one Imaam left now; he hides her daughters in his shadow
A blunt knife in his hands; soon he will sacrifice them to keep their innocence
Kashmir is burning. Kashmir is bleeding
And I write.
Army jeep chases the tracks. To find the associated bodies
They are alive now. Soon they will be dead
From Patan to Sopor, And in narrow passages of nostalgic downtown
Ghosts of curfew
Haunt the houses for young souls.
From the Kupwara cantonments, search lights chase emptiness
Nothing is left now. Search lights can’t see inside the graves
A boy there went missing for two days. His father starts digging his grave.
I put my earphones on and I close my eyes. I sleep
While my Kashmir is ablaze
“It’s me poor farmer’s son. Kupwara’s charm, I feel no pain”.
I see him so alive in my dreams.
He chants songs of Mahjoor from his burnt lips. My hands shiver. He has no finger nails.
I see his smoke tanned skin. Same as that of Khayam’s barbeques
He stands at a distance from me. I can still smell kerosene
“Tell my mother to let her heart become cold. Her heart will not bear my state.
Tell my mother to let her eyes become blind. Her eyes will not withstand my sight.”
I follow him towards his tortured body. He tells me to follow the spilled blood.
His blood has made its own Jhelum. I row on it. Until it gets lost in black boots
The story will turn into legend. I find his body no more.
On the streets silence prevails. Nobody has permission to wail.
Sisters are beatifying coffins while brothers look for stones.
For bullets there will be stones
Kashmir is ablaze. She is wailing in grotesque tones.
In Lal Ded hospital a new born cries: Father register me at cantonment then take me out
Death is recruiting in dozens at a time.
Tomorrow is curfew. Death has no curfew pass.
How they want to identity you. Becomes your identity
People burn up all you identity cards.
Once, something we took for granted
Now gone, forever to be mourned.
My source of awesome anime has been transplanted.
Cartoon Network, you face an enemy scorned!
Though it's been so long I still miss it. RIP Tom.
with blackish aura
now old lion has
lost it's strength
wiggles under the
yawns and sighs
waiting in labyrinth
for macabre end
For P.D'S contest