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The great poem by the italian poet Dante is the DIVINA COMMEDIA
I have tried to translate in english a few verses of the first canto of INFERNO (HELL).
It was a very difficult task.
The result below was obtained with hard work and
probably is far away from the original spirit of our greatest poet.
The italian rhymes are of 11 syllables as requested by italian terza rima. In english language several verses sound well with 10 syllables, few with 9 or 11. I assume that in english there is no fixed rule for syllables in terza rima and I simply try to obtain a good sound of verses resembling the original italian poem.
I continue to translate and to add new verses until the characters reach the limit.
I submit to soupers expecting their sincere comments and criticism
CANTO I Inferno Original italian
When half the journey of my life was crossed Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
I found myself within a forest dark Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
Since the correct way was harshly lost. Ché la diritta via era smarrita
Oh, it's so hard to say and to remark Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura
How strong and savage was the forest core Esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
That now again I am of fear stark! Che nel pensier rinova la paura!
So amara it is that death is lightly more; Tant'è amara che poco è più morte;
But to describe the sake that there I found Ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai,
I shall relate what I saw before. Dirò de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte.
How there I went surely I confound Io non so ben ridir com'i' v'intrai,
Since of slumber I was full so much Tant'era pien di sonno a quel punto
That I abandoned any pattern sound. Che la verace via abbandonai.
But with a hill foot when I got in touch, Ma poi ch'i' fui al piè d'un colle giunto,
There where the valley was close to end Là dove terminava quella valle
Which to my heart gave a fear clutch, Che m'avea di paura il cor compunto,
I looked up and saw its abrupt trend Guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle
Already dressed by the planet rays Vestite già de' raggi del pianeta
Which the path to everybody always fend. Che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle.
So my fears were calmed in some ways, Allor fu la paura un poco queta,
Which in the lake of my heart had lasted Che nel lago del cor m'era durata
During the night I spent in so much haze. La notte ch'i' passai con tanta pieta.
And similar to one with lena labored, E come quei che con lena affannata,
Got out of open sea reaching the shore, Uscito fuor del pelago a la riva,
Looks the perilous water behind his head, Si volge a l'acqua perigliosa e guata,
Just so my soul, which was fleeing more, Così l'animo mio, ch'ancor fuggiva,
Looked behind to behold the pass Si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo
Which no living person ever left before. Che non lasciò già mai persona viva.
After a while to rest the body harass, Poi ch'èi posato un poco il corpo lasso,
The way resumed along the desert slope Ripresi via per la piaggia diserta,
So that was always lower my foot fast. Sì che 'l piè fermo sempre era 'l più basso.
Here, when I started with the rise to cope, Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l'erta,
Sudden a very rapid panther light, Una lonza leggera e presta molto,
Coated with spotted fur and little hope; Che di pel macolato era coverta;
Which didn’t leave apart from my front sight, E non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,
Or better so forbidding my path line, Anzi 'mpediva tanto il mio cammino,
That more than once I gave up to go right. Ch'i' fui per ritornar più volte vòlto.
It was the time for morning starting shine, Temp'era dal principio del mattino,
And sun was rising moving with those stars E 'l sol montava 'n sù con quelle stelle
Which joined it when the love divine Ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino
Moved for the first those full of beauty jars; Mosse di prima quelle cose belle;
So that I had more reasons to hope the best Sì ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione
About that beast whose pelt had many scars di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle
The hour of time and the season blessed; L'ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;
But not enough to forbid the fright Ma non sì che paura non mi desse
After my eyes a fierce lion guessed. La vista che m'apparve d'un leone.
This looked like against me pounced right Questi parea che contra me venisse
With ravenous hunger and head up high, Con la test'alta e con rabbiosa fame,
So that surrounding air looked to excite. Sì che parea che l'aere ne tremesse.
And a lupa, which greedy coming by Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame
Burdened looked as only skin and bones, Sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza,
And many people already made to sigh, E molte genti fé già viver grame,
This put on me indeed so heavy stones Questa mi porse tanto di gravezza
With the scare created by the appearance, Con la paura ch'uscia di sua vista,
That I lost the hope to reach the upper zones. Ch'io perdei la speranza de l'altezza.
And such as guy acquiring with decision,
And comes the time which brings him then to lose,
So that his thoughts with sorrow find collision;
Similar the peaceless beast with strong abuse
Coming against me direct bit by bit
Constrained me with shadow to confuse.
(No enough space left.
Continues in the next part.
The last rows of original italian will be repeated there)
Set upon the new world stage within the burning fires of hell. Silently posed factions of the elite, suppress the true inherit of Mother Earth. The meek children bending over for millennium, taken spankings of bare bottoms, pelted slavery.
Upon entry to rule, the open stage of smoked mirrors began to reflect back upon the podium of lies. Taught by scholars from university books of political science. Fearful of leadership matching mirrored images, of false pretense, babbling rhetoric. The stirring masses of discontented, individualistic, thought of as dead - enders, trouble makers, and rebel rousers, rallied aimlessly.
With super hero, Captain Do Gooder, bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street. Weary lost hope combatants mustered courage, and accepted destiny. To this point, someone shouted against the wind of change. Felt by all who sensed the importance.
"To death do us part of the purpose to which we, the united, stand for justice".
The chant began, as Captain Do Gooder was dragged away, and cuffed, once bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street.
Damn the torpedoes. Damn the torpedoes.
Captain Do Gooder, fallen, bruised ego matching skinned knees, lays helpless. Who will save them now.
Second glances from high rise penthouses. Serving champagne and caviar. Brought iron clenched hands once hidden, to draw the stage curtain down.
With Captain Do Gooder nowhere to be found. The voice that came from pain of pupil. Born within broken dreams of promised lands. Realized nothing was coming cheap on this occupation.
The dusty streets found Captain Do Gooder aimlessly stepping against the winds of change, down Wall Street. The well-intentioned, arrested and broken spirited, lost hope of recycling any salvage rights taken from them by Metro.
Was this the end of the well thought out, pushed down occupation.
Was this the beginning, of the underground faction. Where was senior generation X hiding. Only Captain Do Gooder and the well-intentioned, world stage occupiers, hold the key to that Pandora's box of hope.
The peoples across the oceans were already springing far ahead in their own, more brutal campaign. For they had no cushion on which they were raised to kneel against. Tyranny ran over them. A lesson yet not felt, or learnt, or taught, in the new world. No chance of city mayors issuing eviction notices. Bullets, tanks and bombs were of the order. Brought down the line, traced back to the ones our United Nations to this day, refuse to acknowledge.
While leaders there home internet shop, and pump out the lies. Everyone dies.
In the heart of the continent of center, where unto which as mankind sprang forth, for its first and ever conquest.
The lights kept dim, to obscure the violent cleansing. A facade to disguise once moreover, the brutal tyranny for which the greed of the elite, control the dimmer switch. Diamonds and oil fuel the fire of war and oppression, on this stage of greed and guilt. Too far away, and too many distractions upon center stage for one to see or care. Thought and looked upon by most as racially motivated. The origins of all mankind, to be left, far too far, behind. The true forsaken people. Why is man unkind.
So..........will Captain Do Gooder raise the bar to which drinks for the house, and all around, will quench the thirst felt by ninety nine percent of the people............mother knows best.
Yet, still, self-inflicted roadblocks of appointed destiny, drop kicked long days past. Faint light shining far ahead, within the tunnel of hell, brought up to land. Firm above the depths to which it sprang. The truth of world order.
Wait......what do we see......do our closed eyes deceive our cries........................................
We see Captain Do Gooder catching second wind.
She breathes deep now and all can hear her war cry, no longer whimpering softly. As in past tense situations, given way to dazed and confused wall street *****es.
She builds momentum, as our brothers and sisters lay dying and bleeding. On the streets of some not so distant for telling, of what's to be, will never not be coming full steam ahead and plowing through the hidden agenda. One step beyond the line drawn in the sand of time, we thought would never be crossed. Give way thoughtless future tellers, and takers. Still holding firm with paper cuts, deep into the hands who printed and prepared such slave papers, kept by the elite bankers.
Captain Do Gooder returns renewed and refreshed. Our true Mother.
Captain Do Gooder feels strong, as bruised knees and scraped hands heal.
Brush of destiny sweepstakes, allots winnings of earth shaking, volcano erupting, tsunami tidal waves, with bonus draws of worldwide chaos. Future draws are to be held with worldwide winners. Grand prize, dead oceans rising.
The next generation have no fear digest writes the next chapter.
Hold the press down firmly wall street backbiting backbenchers. Drawn into the crossfire, on her mark, place the x on the next general who dares not fall into civil disobedience.
Captain Do Gooder has grown teeth, and she is biting down hard against the line to pipe riches, spoiled from her lands. Stolen from the first pilgrimage, fifteen thousand years old, lost empire.
How dare you steal from, and pollute the minds of her children. Yet old enough to drink and drug and die in war. How dare all of us.
Meanwhile back at the ranch. Captain Do Gooder hugs tight that tree of life, to which sprang all this elbow rubbing and diversion. Wall street huddles in her corner, painted red to match the lengths to which an end will surely bring to it.
Painted red for all to see.
The end to friendly letter writing, give peace a chance, make love not war, generation taking a bow, and snow birding it, to false sense of security land. Like the ostrich with its head in the sand.
The large, bright Winter moon shone it's heavenly light over and out amongst the snow-covered city. The city was large, the city was noisy. It was midnight and the bustling still urged on. People ached for a screaming, gangs clutched for their money, the elderly walked the icy sidewalks alone and or in couples; such a beautiful sight it was. At the very top of the Empire State building, a young-looking woman with ivory, glowing skin slumped her spine up against one of the boxed structures set over, preferably the corners. Her eyes glimmered with a soft red shine in them, her gaze was holding and even dangerous but yet a calmness instilled in her body, instilled in her soul. She was confused, she was.. What was the emotion long forgotten? She pushed her head up against the upper part of the ventilator before closing her eyes lazily, then did she turn her head, watching the moon pester her with it's large size. She rolled her head a moment. "Why do these feelings still exist? Why does unhappiness set the mood? The consecrated belief of this form was for the lovely destiny of being what I am now.." Her long, wavy hair danced with the cold breeze that swept in her direction. She found herself entranced in the lustrous sphere, floating there in the confines of the atramentous skies, dotted with sparkling partners.
As she sighed, her breath came in a swirl of thick fog. She felt no cold, she felt no warmth. She just felt sick.
Suddenly, as if everything stopped in the undeniable present of the moment, the sound of civilization cut off completely. Not a honk was heard, not a gunshot was sounded, not even the wind that whispered to her so dreamily could tell her secrets now. There was a presence. A strong presence, and a voice; a deep, rough voice;
"Child, have you not learned? Have you no shame? Have you no comprehension to the reasons of your being?"
It was a male's voice and it was most familiar out of a lot of voices, she heard it so much that sometimes, she thought herself to lose even her own infernal sanity. If she lost that, all hope was lost for her soul to linger somewhere as it did now. The woman turned around, folding her arms over her breasts as she did so, her eyes set upon a large silhouette that hid within the shadow of one of the large ventilators behind her. The male stepped out from the shadow, staring over her with spine-shattering, shimmering crimson irises. He stood six foot nothing and had long white hair just as she possessed. His jaws were squared out and his chest was large. "I have but more shame than you may know, but, in general, do you know too much.." She frowned. The man smirked only slightly to where it wouldn't even be considered a half smile or any in relation. "You're unhappy. You're dissatisfied. When clearly, you are to be neither. You have been a Devil of Dis for some time now and I think, perhaps, it's time for you to control it."
It was only their voices and behind their voices and words were soft echos. As every city commotion went on down below, as the lights flashed and cars crashed, nothing seemed like reality to her anymore, not even in her moments of thoughts. She was always being watched, no matter what. She couldn't feel shame. She never had that chance. She never had that chance to suffer the right way and die the right way as well. A faded memory of her Mother transitioned into her thoughts. She turned around, her back facing him now. She kept her arms crossed. She said nothing.
He walked up behind her before placing a single, large, talon-tipped hand upon her right shoulder, gripping firmly. His palm was warm. She didn't look up. "You fight with yourself.. Often and you know it all too well, girl." She could feel the gaze of his aura-seething eyes pierce into the back of her head. She parted her pale lips to speak; "I've got to find myself, I suppose. But, underestimate me not. It's harder than I've realized." Her back pushed up against his muscle-bound chest absentmindedly as she leaned into the fiery warmth of his massive form. The pit of her stomach felt as though it would close in on itself at any moment just not too long ago and now, it felt the growing ball of fire that set ablaze to her chest and overwhelming her beating heart. Hot breath caressed her slim jawline as she soon snapped from her flow of thoughts. She closed her eyes, nudging her body into his suddenly when she found herself facing him unexpectedly. Did she move here on her own?.. She let her head rest against his chest, his large hands running over her curved sides and behind, brushing his fingertips along her lower back with almost fervent passion before she tilted her head up, meeting up with his sharp structured face and the demand in his eyes, feeling the same breath brush over her face. The female fiend leaned up, placing her hands upon his broad shoulders and just as she tilted her head, brushing her lips over his own once. He disappeared.
In the same moment, her body posed in the same form just as if he was still there before she stepped back, her large, black wings folding up against her form. His voice rang through the air or her own air even before it entered into her subconscious, acting as such; "Act on your own, for I will be watching you..." And as his words faded into the soft echoes of tomorrow, the shuttering noises of New York followed in from soft to normal volume once again. She stared into the velvet skies, spying a single star that remained larger than the rest of it's comrades. She sighed softly, contemplating this.
MY PRINCESS OF IMAGINATION
You are an empress of Heaven who descended on earth
A dear angel of God has taken birth
Your presence brings an awesome fragrance of joy
You are more beautiful than the Helen Of Troy
You resemble a symbol of peace, calmness, wonder and cheer
Like numerous scented flowers engulfed the entire atmosphere
Your presence enthralls the atmosphere with such an ardent passion
Flowers bloom, birds sing, oceans roar, Heaven rejoices in a supernatural fashion
Being a stranger but yet so familiar is an experience of mystery
I wanna be with your present, wanna be with the dreams of your future but never become your past history
I know nothing of you... but your life is a holy book written so well
Synonymous in nature to a religious novel
Every word of which would be so pious and divine
Their utterance will strengthen my soul and make it purely refined
And every word of which I wish you would share with me
And I would keep on listening with extreme curiosity
Hope this book of your life is so lengthy never ending and complicated
That while explaining me with clarity, your entire life is dedicated
Going through your inspiring life will make my mind so captivated
That in things of the world my attention will be never diverted
I would sync deep into your thoughts dreams and emotions
Explore your life like navigating through the depth of mighty oceans
The facts of your life will be as delightful as your nature
Synonymous in experience with a lifetime adventure
to be remembered forever
I wish I was a memorable entity always alive in the vicinity of your thought
Some one who gifted u a special feeling which is beyond the scope of being bought
Spiritual connection with you is magical pleasure. My soul rejuvenates a lot
Your life is extraordinary, it is an eternal bliss
Similar to such a wonderful voyage, the bitter past I shall never reminisce
Your soul resembles heaven's beauty filled with an angel's grace
I wish to find rest and comfort in such a sacred place
Worldly creatures are mesmerized by your supreme fragrance of serenity
The peace u provide, the calmness u bring resembles an heavenly entity
Synonymous to a medical replenishment of decaying souls to repair all their defects
Such that all disturbance, grief and sorrow are conquered and lose their effects
By the holiness of your spirit every evil existence shall perish
This divine revolution will leave behind only sweet remains to cherish
You bring forth the delight of eternity, a heavenly aura and shine
Which enlightens, encourages depressed souls, their lives renewed and new hopes defined
The everlasting impact of your presence inspires me to build an immortal attachment
And reside under your shadow which symbolizes an abode of holy settlement
I observe a pattern of silence in your behavior
I am unsure if this is part of your natural gesture
What is the reason for this sense of melancholy strain?
May be there is some trauma which brings you pain
Some moments of life you spend in mere solitude
What made u acquire such a lonely attitude?
I pray in your life there must not be any sorrow
Even if there is, I would willfully like to borrow
Any cloud of darkness over your life is beyond my tolerance
No power can besiege your holy throne of reverence
Alas and at last, there is something to say
I am striving with a pathetic feeling of dismay
Why I am so helpless that can not talk to you
Why are you a stranger? Am I some one so new?
Albeit a stranger, why I feel myself so close to you
Its my dream to talk to you for indefinite moments
To disturb this peaceful conversation, i would'nt prefer ugly opponents
The passion of my imagination is beautiful far beyond the facts of reality
Where in I understand your holy life book in the sacred place with sanctity
I believe you live on earth but exist in the wonders of heaven
Alas your presence in my life may be something I am against hope hopen
Wish for an opportunity to express myself to you
Seems an awkward desire as u consider me so new
In the vision of my imagination, I will always find you near
Your divine presence eliminates any syndrome of fear
And I promise to cherish your presence in my memories till my days are over
I recognize your adorable nature rather than your beautiful look
I already defined you Synonymous to a precious holy book
Wish these feelings on your mind will have a profound impact
Finding acceptance in your life is still an unknown fact
Unknown is whether I bear that supreme fortune to experience your acceptance
Or Else you would consider me unimportant and indulge me in repentance
Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors
To honour my thoughts, please do me some small favours
Give me a true promise that you will forget me never
Request you to cherish these thoughts in your memory with pleasure
And edify yourself as heavenly princess as you are an eternal treasure
Sometimes I have the courage to think of the things that made me what I am today,
My memory takes me back to terrible things far away far off into my bitter past,
My mind like a maze of dirty black alleys that smell of waste, loss and disgust,
The losses, the drink ripped away, not happy until it was all gone respect as well.
Invisible thinks of a garden where roses clustered with lilies scent on the breeze,
Bees found stores of honey in the petals of a thousand and one different flowers,
Lovers walked hand in hand along its winding path a beautiful dream of the man,
Bright with the embroidery of nature where children played in new myrtle flowers,
As Invisible thinks of this garden it is neglected but flowers can grow with weeds,
It could put a smile upon his face, a face that had never known any joy recently,
He hopes a gardener can covert this garden get rid of ruined waste, back into Eden,
Tending all the beautiful flowers that spring up with the weeds and smell gladness.
If he helped the gardener in his quest a hand might hold his and guide him through,
Maybe a hand would go around his waist to support him as well as guide his hand,
Dare he wish that the guiding hand and the support would be his angel from heaven,
A dear person to help him clear his garden and walk down the winding path as lovers.
An angel that would smile at him maybe hold his hand and squeeze it so very gently,
Would the angel talk to him and tell him that one day they would be together again,
Her beautiful grace shining warmly as she looks up to him, to her he is her hero,
Not a drunken mess that cannot cope, not a dirty vagrant, but her knight her love.
The tenderness of this beautiful scene in his poisoned mind became real he smiled,
He grinned as she sat down next to him as close a she could get then wriggled closer,
Warmth from her body not only warmed him but gave hope this what he has waited for,
She whispered sweetly she loved him and would be waiting for him and they kissed.
Invisible woke with a start and was she not by his side, was she ever with him,
A dream another heart wrenching let down and how could he have dreamed the dream,
It was so real he still felt the warmth, the impression of her hand holding his,
But it must have been a dream his own mind conspired to deliver the hardest blow.
Lost in a grief so deep, his loneliness complete he talks to Sam his imaginary friend.
These days get worse Sam they really do please help me,
I need to change but I need my drink more what can I do,
But I need to change so desperately Sam can you help?
My world has cracked and I've fallen into the crack,
But what I don't understand Sam that I was once good,
If I had any courage Sam I would be laying in my coffin,
Why does life drag you along with it I don't want to go,
Just a bit of icing on my cake Sam it is freezing cold,
Did you know this is where I was brought up my friend,
Did you know that most of the people that walk past I knew,
Sam! I know many of there people but they don't know me,
Why do they all walk past I wish somebody would help,
Maybe when I have drunk more cider I might feel better Sam,
I can remember being happy but not what being happy is like,
As Invisible sits drinking shoppers give him a wide berth and they look at him with hate.
These people Sam they look at me as if I have hurt them,
The people they are not our sort of people they hate me,
Has the world changed like I have but in opposite ways,
My life is full of sorrow drunkenness and dreams Sam,
Old sorrows wont go away new sorrows should take over,
So we have to face both the old and the new that's bad,
At night I try to close my drunken eyes it all returns,
Sam is that the same as you can you close your eyes,
Can you remember the valleys Sam the ones we used to play,
When we ran about all day Sam in the sun rolling in grass,
The old stream that twisted and turned, it had lost its way,
Floating lolly sticks watching them bounce away on ripples,
Buying bangers in November and throwing them into the water,
What I wouldn't do to go back for just a couple of hours Sam,
Just to feel the innocence and try to bring it back to now,
To enjoy what there is to enjoy and maybe get better Sam,
But that will never happen Sam we are lost on an island,
A well populated island but an island all the same Sam,
People are not like ships they don't bother to rescue people,
They just walk around or just walk away all the nice ones gone,
I remember my school Sam it's now been knocked down and left,
It has all gone, all gone no primroses in spring or bluebells,
Do you remember Sam the bluebells used to nod in the wind,
But they have all been built on, whats the use in talking,
Nothing changes from bad to good Sam remember that, eh Sam,
Still drinking his cider tears well into his eyes his nose runs and begins to quietly
to sob. He sits on the shopping parade seat, shaking as he sobs. His throat has a lump
in it so he stops talking to Sam. Invisible sinks his wet face into his overcoat
hides his misery from the people that walk past he just sat there lost and confused. His
greatest sadness an angel paid a visit to the maze of dirty black alleys that smell of waste,
loss and disgust,
The Story of History
Beyond those beaten days’ depleted daylight
Beyond the bathos of a pandemic bondage
With the resurrected sashay’s charmed night
Down in the dumps at the pretentious proscenium
A shy orchestration sans bark and bite
Afloat in the air of inarticulate mind games
Intuitive rains, first ever, like the touch of Midas
Informed dense minds and filled their dented bowls
Birthing the quartet of Vedas and similar works
There was this epic, longest ever , they say
Bales and bales of tales in miscible moral wraps
With a natal nugget, on tall righteous props
The Mahabharata with the Gita, like Mata, Pita
And its transcendental twin revered more
For a daily hosanna..the Ramayana with a deep lore
Banish-evil-battle-cries, confronting blasted minds
Search lights, self’s unfoldment and its kind
Her children made but never did dig history
But loved digging up its bedraggled mystery
To find bone dry drains, history’s torn veins
Below multi layered mud and muddled bricks
Twisted and labored logic on tensile testaments
Sites that suffered blights thru unknowable nights
To find the four battens , the debacle, to follow
Someone on the way labeled it Harappa .
All the while Light ruled, but rigours too brewed
Calling often for a reordering of ways so crude
Then there were slices of truce..
Of collapsed black holes the horizon was full
Faded for once their gravitational pulls
Exploding back as eternal stars ..
Alongside kings ruled and kingdoms rolled
‘ Ruler’-coaster-rides on thrones and thorns followed
Till bandit chieftains erased the all important lines
To the dance of dust from an advancing west
Battling to drop anchors on motherly chest.
Bare-faced brigands. Among their odious offspring
Some stood out to shine with a stupendous ring
Either putting up statecraft’s show pieces
Or scripting epitaphs in eponymous edifices
Till dissipated and deterred they too heard
The trenchant call of folks come from far to trade
That would spell , in time, your damnation
In manacles of measured manipulations.
Against its prolonged , protracted reticulation
Rose legit gripes from gregarious formations
That would coalesce under the one and only Gandhi
Into their momentous waking into life and freedom
Split up, as it were, into two bickering fragments
To play fitfully, for ever, their petulant fiddles
Averse to complement under demagogic detours
Falsely comfy under the convenience of inheritance
Six decades of self rule on, your children feel conned
Not for failed hopes, but for the disharmony that haunts.
An one- sport -nation fixated with a fixing -fame-game
Movie-obsessed , and with its TV
Blank beyond trivia and brand names.
Money and food are no problem for many
But, for too many, they are; vehicles are plenty
But roads aren’t ; laws are varied and abundant
Some redundant , but every pervert who counts
Interprets them different and funnily implements.
Health care wears a five star halo sans humaneness.
It never frees a dying adult or kid from its kinky tubes
Nor permit the company of kin to them for one last time
Ignores the terminally and unmovably sick stuck at home.
Agriculture does well, but farmers don’t ,.. and kill themselves
Petty retailers are swell making a killing, selling farm produce.
Stupidity grows muscles to muzzle humanity
Hunks grow on vitamins, video games and vanity
Freed millions press after pelf and power, plays hell
With the weak and the women , their perennial fair game
Profiteering, covert, overt, and across the board
The sick, the student, the seeker after any service
Any victim or one with a gripe being its victims
That’s by the very cream , no less, all the same
Media scream with scam and spam all the time
Even the ones,( that’s about all), with their own aims
The combined do’s of brash bravado and venality
A rash on governance and a blot on name.
Effete ethics and moribund morals, seniors mumble..
‘Equality before law’ means ’ Advantage to the outlaw’
Freedom for the grabs means restraints to many
Succour often hard-to -reach and reaching-too-late
Louts and lousy offices dot street corners and roads
Governance press after targets too disparate
To cohere or collaborate towards a wholesome goal,
Leaving holes for private or pet agendas to infiltrate.
Front-end-folks or prickly pears?
Menace, malice, avarice, lies, police…
Unrestrained delight in deliberate discourtesies.
Why -dad-anyway-Why- not- call-him-uncle-attitudes…
What does not tempt is in for contempt,
Being irreverent to the important, and indifferent
To the different, is the norm and the trend.
Democracy could well slip into demonocracy
Like when “Two wolves and a goat vote to decide dinner”**
In the absence of the Will to lift it to meritocracy?
PS: This poem ( 100 lines, 777 words, as it turned about to be ) is about INDIA, my country.
*”Mata, Pita ‘ mean Mother, Father
** Based on a quote seen somewhere.
S.Jagathsimhan Nair, 26 May 2013,
For Cyndi MacMillan’s contest.
A Dark Identity
Days into nights... time without time
Normalities of everyday life beckons to remain
Shadows with lights.... to find to define
I am he who goes by without a name
The world is only up to date
And I’ve decided no more to follow
Bearing time to finally relate
Yet a self I’m to find to wallow
He who walks without an identity... walks alone
And he who walks alone needs be proud
Yet walking forever without finding a home
Have I that heaven beyond the clouds?
I cannot see either far or near
I cannot be to be neither nor
I’m listening... I cannot hear
I’m at peace... I’m at war
I did not know... am I suppose to?
I know I’m alive... is that enough?
Yet, rather not to know than knew
For knowledge shall never last
A mystery if not yet to be
That one mysterious hope to be searching for
I have dreams but what did I see?
I have no one... not one I can call
A darken need shall heed not words
For the dark shall rise as light
The fade will be a promise to be heard
For shadows are without night
And I started to listen distractedly
Hearing for what my eyes cannot see
A hallucinatory moment ever constantly
As I began to believe that of what cannot be
The instant my eyes close
My mind drew as suppose
Sketching a stand alone amid a world once seen
Of ranging fires to have had believed as a dream
And there I was... a lone figure enveloped in darkness
With crossing flames alight yet from a distance as useless
Left as I was before... I am to return as I am
Reliving once more this beginning with never the end
Thus did I continue my path away from the bloodshed
Carefully as one had hoped where a darker darkness be led
No more do I wonder what transported me here
To only know for certain I am riddled of constant fear
“Fear is a fire
To temper courage and resolve
Be it desire
To quench the thirst for one’s unfounded lost”
And there it was... words barely a whisper
Where it came from... no longer matters
For the intended vigor were already cast upon
Serving me with renewed purpose for a sense to belong
Before long, beyond doubts... my callings were clear
The source from where it first began was indeed here
Almost startled, I looked around knowing I’m blinded to see
Too dark as it was, had it not been a lighted green to be
And there it was... a single light beyond the almighty dark
That one greenish light to aid one’s lonesome heart
Rather peculiar for I haven’t notice it before
And naturally I am to walk towards the green grandeur
Flickering and wavy as I drew closer to my destination
Seeing finally for what appears to be the least of expectations
Astonishingly, it was a lantern where within was the sighted fire
And simply the fiery green alone ignites ever on in dire
Levitated in midair, it stands rigid with its haunting presence
With an aura more deserving then welcoming of essence
So mesmerized I was... I wanted to behold
That of warmth for perhaps deliverance from cold
A dare if not, if only, if I must
A flame to embrace, a curiosity to engulf
And surely... I lifted my hand with only a wanting touch
Surely but unknowingly... the flame itself is to parch
Sparkles of green eludes and transcends about
As well an aria, an ancient tune goes aloud
To only see to believe, perhaps my life to perceive
Yet the question being... what did I achieve?
Smoke arises... wavering, quivering, settling...
My time... misgiving, misguiding and misleading
And there he was... rather it be
A human?... isn’t to be I see
“A dark wanderer, perhaps a lone wanderer alone
Regardless... a stranger afar returning home
Have you the teachings bequeath upon you?
From a once being of a knight who knew
For he alone stands unnerve by another
Serving a purpose to hold true forever
The resemblance I see forth leaves me incertitude
Both as mortals... though only he remains in servitude
Yet... my appointment upon you is clear
I am to you drawn as you to me when you hear
Nevertheless, far too long were you of absence
And once more I am in honor to be in your presence
It never is clear what the heavens contrive
For this unsung war... humanities were birth to strive
Every one mortal given birth were forged for war
To ensure the survival of humanities and of peace to befall
For many years this bloodshed wages in dire
Almost as certainly, the spirits of men responsively tire
No more are there ideas nor hopes they are to see
Battling on for pure survival remains what leads them be
Your return however, will perhaps set the tides in our favor
Though I know not the intention, I do not disregard altogether
Do not let the reasons why you have returned cloud your mind
I ask of you rather to remember who you once were to define
The land of The Ancients is never a quest for truth to seek
Purely for good to triumph over evil is the only idea you will need
Prepare yourself well stranger, for good will always be in disguise
Treachery and deception as often will never in itself be a lie
The unforgiving way is still a long one I’m afraid
However well is Heaven to plan... evil as always will await
And until out time will once more cross between us
I assure you... your time in this world will outlast”
It is so hard to let go of love,
unpeels more gut more quickly
than reel or reeler ever lost
in all those years of lazy inches
in and out:
winding in and playing out,
hardly fishing, rarely catching
from the deepness out of sight,
hardly ever losing . . .
Blisters lust into the greedy thumb.
the startled brake lets go.
It dives full length into the never,
finds the limit of its leash,
pounds against its half-round prison,
at end of end of rope -
Got you, shrieks the reel and reeler
cranking in the give and take.
The line is taut,
the weight upon it heavy,
and waiting . . .
. . .waiting for adrenaline:
against the angry, smoldering thumb.
Caught to catcher,
fish to fisher:
let me go!
It tries too hard to turn to something else: away.
Away and bottom still beyond the knot,
the creature climbs toward the light,
her leap, an alchemy:
silver unto gold.
crinkled all about.
Million mile amnesia.
a flash of tooth,
then placid lips close over any sign of youth . . .
. . . as if the fish had never been.
-the fisher wonders:
The line is limp
as if . . .
for all the years of it,
nothing at its other end.
A flash of recognition:
she leaps another time,
not knowing if what held her holds.
Silver fish scales golden ladder
a sunbeam at a time,
and all the rungs of memory -
breaks air an instant.
The line has held
and as she leaps, it claims her,
a thunder clap.
Arrested in her flight,
she drops deadweight into the bucket sea-
fish to air to gold to water,
Of the gold,
an afterglow centered in the thumb.
Did it happen?
Was she really there?
Air turns to air once more,
the fisherman to memory,
pig-a-back the job at hand,
one slender monofilament insisting: no!
and memory, another plastic,
refusing to let go.
my pretty lovely,
so flying and so softly spun,
you seemed the air to me.
So high and free,
so very near the sun,
my tears dissolve the earth’s connection.
The line my hands are holding:
to limit freedom at its height,
impossible without restraint-
the line between us,
subtle and so gossamer.
There, it glinted,
there! So very real.
Real . . .
The hook is realer.
Tangerine transfusion from the fastened lip,
bleeds unreckoned into the larger blue.
The sea - as wide as weakness -
sucks the strength without a hunger.
Tired, the hooked,
and tiring even more,
the line grows stronger,
shortening toward the bobber boat.
I’ve got her, cries the fisherman,
raping at dead weight,
dragging mystery toward the kitchen
-on his mind is steak.
Slaughter, separate from supper,
passion with a knife,
the knife . . .
. . . the knife is ready
held tight between the skinless thumb,
and vendetta fingers -
five Sicilian brothers
waiting for their sister to come home.
The other hand around the rod
is closing on the lover’s throat.
The rod’s erect,
the reel is angry.
Come, my dear, come, come.
She hears the music of the end,
the bowstring whine of gut
still lean and taut from her weight alone,
hears the rhythm of the reel
and tries to run once more
-provoking lust to snatch still harder-
but can’t . . .
. . . is free at last
surrendered with the last of blood:
quicksilver nearing zero-
and two dollars worth of ice.
(a virgin: never dead before)
betrayed and penetrated,
(it’s time now to give in, enjoy)
rests her weight upon the line,
toward the bottom of the boat.
The whore! I see her in the water!
She gave me quite a fight.
The captain, ready with the gaff,
the lover, in his rented swivel chair,
seize her from the water.
The maiden’s heartbeat
is faint and futile as a final cry of rape.
Her breath is fear, yet sounds like passion
at the very end.
Her swoon is now complete.
Her swain is prickled with his heat.
His blood pounds within his thumb.
is left alone with her.
He ponders . . .
. . . while he does,
she pales and sheds her rainbow.
Her eyes turn glassy from the air,
She’s turned to meat.
He lusts at memory for a moment,
then dries the little sweat
and goes forward for a beer,
and band aids.
The captain’s seen it all before,
surgically removes the hook
and tidies up the gear.
He and the mate carry her to the ice
and lay her out within the cold.
The mate disinfects the deck
with sea water and a stiff brush.
Returning with his second beer,
a badge of gauze and Vaseline upon his thumb,
the lover is confused.
The deck, shipshape,
of scales and blood
it all might not have happened.
Then there would be hope.
The mate calls him to the ice chest
for the viewing,
opens it . .
I’ve lost her. There she is.
The smell . . . it must wash off !
Time to go home.
The sea is empty.
It is over.
He stood and aimlessly watched the parade of patrons and volunteers that wandered daily past his kennel. All so familiar, so ordinary. Just like every other day he mused. Nothing new. Nothing special.
Moving to the small crumpled blanket near the back of his cage, he turned several times and finally curled up, head on his paws, positioned so that he could watch the activity around him. But in reality, he was bored. It had been a long time since he had met each morning with anticipation. Too many days. Too much disappointment. He would leave all that barking and racing to the front of their cage to the younger pups who hadn’t figured out yet that the cute ones went first. It didn’t really make any difference what you did to attract attention if you weren’t young or cute, or both.
Too much time had gone by to participate in the charade. In reality, Walter had seen a lot of people that he would rather not spend a lot of time with. You know the type. Kind of hyper, bouncing from stray to stray, looking for a perfect dog. Kids poking their fingers through the kennel screen or banging on it. Some even making barking sounds. He didn’t need any of that and was glad when they were gone.
Walter was very picky. Set in his ways after so many years. He had had it good for a long time. An only dog in a household of two people that let him be himself. No tricks. No stunts. Just long naps and daily walks. A yard to himself to reflect on what was for dinner. He had been fond of his doggy bed in their bedroom. Each night he would help his owner walk through the house turning off the lights and checking the doors before they climbed the stairs together. And there was always one last good night pat before settling down.
But those days were gone now. First one had become ill and went to the hospital and never came back. The other one changed overnight, spending long days, sitting mostly. The walks became less frequent. Walter did what he could. He could see it in their eyes that they were hurting from their loss. He would make a point of laying his head in their lap, trying to let them know that he missed them too. At times like this, he instinctively knew that although it remained unsaid, they only had each other.
He remembers well the day that his owner snapped a leash on him and said, “well Walter, I’m afraid we have to say goodbye. I have to go to a place where they won’t let me keep you, so I am going to have to let you go.” Walter could see the tears in his eyes. He knew it would do him no good to whine or resist. It was obvious there were no alternatives. And besides, it would just make it harder on his owner. But he was going to miss him. It was not going to be easy to adjust.
But adjust he did. He had been here a long time now and had seen countless pups and dogs trot past his cage with light hearts and new owners, heading off with new found hopes and expectations. But it soon became obvious that there weren’t a lot of people that wanted an old yellow hound. Everyone wanted the young ones. So here he lay, dozing a bit, but still keeping an eye on those walking by, many giving him but a glance before moving on.
He heard them before the saw them. ”Honey” the voice said. ”That looks like Walter, old Mr. Whitney’s dog.” Walters ears perked up a little. ”Do I know them” he thought. ”They seem to know me”. I’d better go take a closer look” and with that, he stood and slowly ambled toward his kennel gate, giving a cautious wag of his tail.
“It is him” the man said. ”Walter, how you doing boy? Do you remember me?”
And upon closer inspection, Walter did remember him. He used to live right across the street. He would see him in his yard and if Walter were to ramble over, he usually had a dog treat in his pocket. With the recognition, Walter gave a little stronger wag and moved toward the fingers extended through the fencing. It was good to see an old friend.
“What do you say hon” the man said. ”How would you feel about bringing Walter home with us?”
Walter looked at the woman and saw her nod in agreement. ”You wait here and I’ll go find a volunteer.”
The man bent down and said “What do you think Walter? Would you like to go home with us?”
Actually, Walter decided, he could think of nothing he would like more. A chance to go back to the old neighborhood with people he already knew. What was there not to like.
Soon the woman returned and the gate opened. A leash was snapped on Walter and together they proceeded past the rows of dogs and puppies, all vying for their attention. Walter couldn't help but stand a little straighter, stepping a little more lightly, showing off. ”This is what going home looks like guys.” he thought. ”Good luck and goodbye”.
As they neared the car the man said “I can’t believe we found you Walter. There is someone I am going to take you to see. I can’t wait to see the expression on his face when you walk in his room>”
Walter, of course, knew exactly who he was talking about. And he couldn't wait to see the expression on his face either.
It was in the early days of our lives
She was so beautiful
My eyes could not stop admiring
My heart kept racing
Every time it sensed
her good-looking approaching
But we were too young
To give full meaning
To the love language
Time kept flying
We lost contact
But the memory of our past
We lugged with us
Fate found us
And brought us together
We have now grown
So big and sweet
We both glitter
At each other’s presence
We were ready to do a recap
of where we left off
We laughed and joked about our past
We talked about our hey days at the National Theatre
We remembered the beautiful past that reflects our true self
We both haven’t changed after all
At that moment my heart spoke
The love language again
I knew I was in love with her
It wasn’t today
It started from when we were kids
Man must gather confidence
And speak out his feelings
Thoughts of what she would say;
Don’t laugh at me,
We all do it sometimes
We were sweet friends
But now, I want to take
The friendship a step further
My heart in full swing
Of abnormal beating,
It beat faster
It spoke two different languages
Say it; and keep it
Don’t know which of these to believe
I was shy
I was afraid
I was confused
I was happy
I was sad
I felt insane
There she was,
Standing in front me
In their house
Beaming with smiles
Nii, she said tenderly,
‘I thought you said you had something to tell me,
Come on, I can’t wait any longer
My ears are itching’
My heart just jumped out
And now I want to escape from her presence
I wish I could vanish into thin air
Stop laughing at me
I’m not mouth lazy
I was just afraid of the outcome
What if she said NO?
What if I lose her as a friend?
What if she vanishes into thin air?
And the what if’s continued …
Once in a man’s life time
He must draw together courage
To speak out his feelings
After all, I would not have violated any law
For telling a sweet scented woman
Gorgeous, attractive and stunning
About what I feel for her
So my nerves were clamed
This was how I started…
Esther, I mean, Naa Adjeley
The confusion has started
Errrmmm, you see,
Still didn’t know what to say
Hmmm, hope you are doing great?
‘I guess your brother, Thomas,
Is doing fine?’
She stared at me intently
The smiles on her face kept
My hopes alive
And my heart awake
I knew she was expecting
Something more than making those comical remarks
It’s was now time to speak
Naa Adjeley, I travelled from Cape Coast
To Accra to come see you
To tell you I miss you
Please let it out
The small voice inside me whispered
I left campus to Accra just to let you know that
I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU
She laughed aloud and said
‘’are you serious!’’
‘Oh! Yes I am’
I said confidently,
Her face suddenly darkened
The smiles misplaced
I wanted to fade away from her presence
After all I’ve let my feelings out
That was what mattered to me
But I did not have that special magic
How long have you felt this way towards me?
The next question to answer
‘When we were kids,
But it was revamped quite recently’
I could see the confusion on her face
She needed some more time
To think things through
I was excited let it out
But she was confused
I went back to school,
We enjoyed chit chatting on the phone
But the answer to my request was still hanging
She mentioned in one of our conversations
She might be travelling
But didn’t say when
She was a nursing student
I was a tourism student
The beauty of having a friend
You know and love
kept my mind awake in school
School was on recess
I arrived in Accra
Left my things unpacked
Borrowed money from my old girl
Picked a cab to Banana Inn
To see the woman
That has taken my heart hostage
I kept bagging at their gate
Agoo! agoo! agooo!
Waiting in anticipation to see
Her fine looking face
And present her with my first gift
Her brother, Thomas opened up
‘Hey! Where have you been?
It’s been a while’
Was the first question
The only interest I had was to see her face
I wanted to see the woman
That makes my heart beat
She was all I cared about
Where is Naa Adjeley?
I enquired from Thomas
I saw the shock on his face
My breathe was not catching up
with me properly
I knew something was wrong
‘Where is she’,
I asked again
‘Didn’t she tell you
She was travelling?’
My face dropped dead at once
I felt a sharp heart ache
I almost fainted
She left for the U.K
Without even saying bye bye
Was that why, she didn’t give any reply
to my proposal?
Why did she keep my heart awake?
I left her house, depressed
Her gift was a bonus for the cab driver
My face drenched in pool of tears
I know it hurts
But I felt more relieved
My feelings had been made lucid to her
I now walk with my chest out
Ready to move on
Ready to open myself up to happiness
I still remember
My first love story
The one I have kept furtive
Over the years
My old time love.