Long poem by
Jack Scott | Details |
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.
Copyright © Jack Scott | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Just That Archaic Poet | Details |
Betty was bonafide crazy. She had shot her husband after a night of drunken quarreling, and was in the state mental hospital instead of being in the slammer. She'd shot the louse in the stomach and he had lived, fortunately for her. I never tired of hearing about Betty's attempted escape and eluding of the police in the aftermath. Over the river and through the woods she ran, but not to grandmother's house, sadly; she didn't know where she was going; all she knew was that she HAD to get the hell outta there.
Down a steep embankment she had tumbled, right next to the highway. As she attempted to orient herself, a car slowed down, it's lights blinding her as she tried to pick off the brush, debris and twigs that clung like glue to her hair and muddy nightgown. The car stopped, two cops sprang forth and yelled, "FREEZE!". The jig being up, Betty did as instructed, was cuffed and read her Miranda rights. She never bothered to elaborate how she wound up in the loony bin instead of staying in the pokey, but I can only imagine it was due to her obvious derangement.
Betty was a hoot; funny as could be and an excellent card player. She had long, shaggy salt and pepper frizzy tresses that looked more like a Halloween wig than an actual coiffure. She was well into her fifties but seemed much older with her deep smoker's wrinkles and heavy, sunken eyes, like a soul that's known too much wear, tear, pain and heartache and aged prematurely. On more than one occasion I questioned her actual insanity, but on one night, when the moon was full and all the crazies were, admittedly, much more maniacal than normal, my doubts about Betty's "playing possum" dissolved. It's true, you know, what they say about a full moon and the impact it has over the mind; I've witnessed it first-hand too many times in different psych wards to discount it as "old-wives" folklore. Nurses never fail to mention when there is a full moon; they know it to be true as well.
I don't know what set her off. I was enjoying a game of rummy with Angela, a paranoid schizophrenic with a penchant for identifying supposed conspiracies within the hospital, when I heard Betty screaming furiously and cussing up a hurricane. Well, something didn't suit her, obviously, and she was having none of it. This is when I began to wonder if Betty was not part "Bionic Woman". Next thing I knew, she wailed like a banshee, took off sprinting down the hall at incredible, breakneck speed that defied her rather plump figure and stubby legs, and drop-kicked the heavy, locked steel door that barred the exit of ward "Grag". Nurses hit the panic button and made urgent phone calls which signaled the goons and heavy muscle to race toward our ward to subdue the unsubduable. Soon as Angela heard the nurses all in a frenzy, she yelled, "CONSPIRACY LEVEL UP! TOP FLOOR!" ("Top Floor" being the ward that housed the most violent or dangerous loons.) Paranoid schizophrenics are such a suspicious bunch!
As Betty raced by, Angela immediately stood up, cheering her along, chanting "GRAG STYLE, BABY; YEAH!". In total astonishment I watched this Wonder Woman drop-kick this barricade (which was most definitely designed to keep us confined) in total kung-fu, samurai, ninja style with such force that it burst wide open! Talk about jaw-dropped incredulous! By the time Betty the She-Hulk nearly drop-kicked her way to freedom, the goons (as the big orderlies were dubbed) descended upon her, but she fought with such ferocity that for just an instant I thought she might break free, given that she had picked up a nearby chair and was using it to fend them off with the skill of a lion-tamer (or so I mused). But poor Betty was helplessly and hopelessly outnumbered and the whole incident must have happened in the span of maybe two minutes, but time has a funny way of slowing down and stretching in instances such as these, when the eyes and mind are trying to comprehend the incomprehensible. She was tackled on all sides, but not before one of the stooges took a whack upside his empty head. Nurses rushed forth, syringes in hand, and gave Betty the usual knock-out serum of hefty doses of Haldol and Benadryl (don't ask me how I know this!). Then, as was the procedure in all such cases, Betty was strapped down on a gurney and wheeled away to the "Quiet Room" where she was to be closely monitored by some muscle.
As one of the orderlies passed, carting the drowsy Betty past us, Angela barked one of her customary insults of, "YOU SMELL LIKE ASS AND NACHOS!" which never failed to tickle me to no end. The excitement over, Angela and I went back to our game of rummy and she accused me of cheating when I won, flipped over the table, and stormed off (but she always did this whenever she lost.) Ah, Angela; what I'd give to play rummy with you again!
A few days later, after a two week stint, I was finally released and never saw or heard from Betty (or Angela) again. Whenever I see someone fly into a rage, I am often happily reminded of Betty, Super-Woman of ward "Grag". Why was I there? I'll never tell!
Copyright © Just That Archaic Poet | Year Posted 2014
Long poem by
Nii-Ayi Solomon | Details |
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.
Copyright © Nii-Ayi Solomon | Year Posted 2012
Long poem by
matthew harris | Details |
uncomfortableness, and hesitation arose that you might reassess a possibility for friendship or.... whatever with me.
A disappointment set in place in the event that based on some facet of my being (inexplicable flaws within this corporeal human male), forecast that an about face (booked on charges inherent in this googly eyed, earth-linked, kool hotmail of a yahoo) would be un liked!
Juno what i mean?
In retrospect, no matter that this average boyish chap desires enjoyment, he admits that ordinary punctuating various stages of development difficulty coping found him msn (miss sin, missin, missing, et cetera) on ordinary interpersonal experiences!
No matter yours truly usually finds me each morning, noon or night conjuring up maximizing temporary residence on this planet earth versus bemoaning those futile and essentially counterproductive mind games sans could a, might a, should a, would a...
today = the moment to cherish, enjoy, help others, ponder the remaining years
since fruitless to expend tears
for suppressed emotional, financial, grammatical, hormonal, physical, and spiritual angst
that roiled mine inner sanctum - mainly from decades in the past
which unseen scars with humor this fellow (who by the way likes you) wears!
Notice the sly inclusion of my comment per -- affinity, desirability, rhapsody for you
although just but a mere inkling prevails about an ye taelje john thru
a rather contrived manner - albeit an online adult oriented website - amongst a slew
which yields to this bipedal hominid a scant few
initial responses - as if a ghost app paired in the recipient email - going boo
which unwittingly seems to turn the ivy blue!
So...no matter a constancy of follow-up electronic communiques occurs from ye
bringing tears of joy, that nobody can see
while simultaneously delivering digital glee
a reality check restrains proclivity and predilection to let thoughts run wild and free!
Immense and immeasurable mounts in moi little rock
inducing an electric arc for myself to kin neck embedded in all this schlock
for a sixth sense arises that this holme body strongly suspects yar self
to generate sunny watts as an s spy she lee Sherlock
but, reticence to gush with ebullience reins in a cascade
of utter delight washing o'er this less than satisfactory mwm
who as a boy and youth happened to b a frayed
of his own shadow - while walking along the boulevard of broken dreams
listening to the sounds of silence on a green-day.
Thus => the following from one
Cerebral being ™ in the am and pm
This ordinary human
Finds himself a mystery
Within the terrestrial
Firmament and frequently
Feels in a feverish pitch
At his existence
That seers the temple
Mounted upon this slender
Frame - wrought by the
Combination of genetics
In tandem with exercise
Which latter helps to
Sublimate the coiled
Tension wound tightly
Like an indestructible spring
Without a healthy medium at large
To channel emotions fraught within
Me might find demise
That would rent asunder literate fellow
And thus annihilate without a trace
One true valued father of two us special
Lovely lasses as just another statistic among
As the world turns (indiscriminately oblivious of the harrowing days per one simian), an agreeable, amiable, edible, immeasurable, likeable, pleasurable, sensible woman (such as yourself - predicated on a gut level intuition) goads more seriousness to share
Plaintive unheard heart strings o mine that wail
Displeased with this marriage fraught with travail
As if in a maelstrom whip-lashed vessel without a sail
Yet - averse to lambaste or rail
Against abby (whereby we pass like two ships in the night) who married this male
When each of us happened to seem more similar
And thought each ourselves to fail
At any endeavor, though now confidence
Buoys my heart while she doth ail
And exemplifies attitudes, beliefs, efforts,
Idiosyncrasies, pathos that life does rot
Ill suited to Matthew Scott,
Whose bon vivant manifesting faith in him
Perhaps from herself deferring many domestic
And child rearing tasks not
Of course being boasting - even when scissoring the umbilical cord
As a now beaming papa, whose daughters
Blithely ignore "mother" a lot
Thus necessitating this quest
For a counterpart to offer succor
To eden (age 16) and shana (14 on february 4th, 2013)
Yet accepts that i must dispel any dreamy fantasy even this ours - a mere jot
At this juncture knowing full well how unwise to set myself up for disappointment
By thinking and rushing like a fool,
Where angels fear to tread
Though "chutzpah" i got!
U r slowly filling my mindscape with joy
Thank you so much - for accepting without complaint how atypically words this writer wannabe
Named Matthew Scott Harris dozen ploy.
Copyright © matthew harris | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Elaine George | Details |
She named her daughter
With hair the hue of flames
A child of God who town-folk dubbed
The Captain's child of shame
And like the thorns that laid in wait
beneath her mother
This child would one day come to know
The evil they would sew
A child with blood of black and white
A heavy cross to bear
Who could not
In her innocence
The evil lurking there
Those evil thorns of bitterness
That couldn't bear to see
This child so loved and so adored
By their father
Until one day in early May
When she went out to play
In fields drenched in morning dew
Above a wind swept Bay
While standing there
Out on a ledge
Above a sea of green
With eyes cast down
In deep reflection
Upon that ship of dreams
Stepped out beyond the pale
And took the life of Amber
As her father's ship set sail
The child of Rose
And Captain lee
So cherished and adored
Her lifeless body
Found that morning
On the Ocean floor
Forever laid to rest in death
Beneath her mother's breast
Her named refrained for years in vain
Cried through her father's pain
So many times in life
Had dealt with tragedy
But this time
She was dealt
So...now alone with
Hope and faith
Nowhere in her sight
She drifted in a fog of
And endless nights
A broken soul
With only yearnings
For her little girl
A broken soul
Through a cruel
And lonely world
A soul so deeply steeped in
Endless grief and
Chained to that tragic day
With no wish
To see tomorrow
Until one day
When Rose laid down
Upon the brink of death
And watched those green leaves
Turn to amber
Kissed by autumn's breath
A breath that set a blazing fire
Deep within her soul
When that mighty tree
Found the strength
To finally let her children go
Before her now
Rose saw a tree
With empty boughs
And in that moment realized
Those we love
Will never die
That tree would bear
The cruel sting
That winter's breath
Of ice would bring
To once again
So with faith and hope
Now at her side
She found again the will
To spread her wings again
For two more score
Rose closed the door
On that devil Tragedy
And caregiver to
Who no longer had the
Will to sail
Upon the endless sea
He died a sad and broken man
Who finally came to understand
It was his son's
Who bore the thorns
That left his heart and mind so torn
When they with
Greed and jealousy
The sweetest child
In its own strange way
The final say
When the sons of Captain Lee
Went to the bottom
Of the sea
Downed by a fierce
That finally killed
Those bitter thorns
The day their father
Coin and land
And hearth and home
The Captain had bequeathed
For she had stayed there
By his side
Long after she was free
In his final
Will and testament
His one good parting deed
Signed with a long repenting quill
And by the legal powers that be
He did in deed
In deep repose
Give it all to Rose
Rose now walked
The streets of town
With grace and dignity
The richest women in the land
Thanks to Captain Lee
For two more score
With open door
Rose lived in tranquility
Her house dedicated
To the legacy
Of Captain Cannon Lee
Providing shelter to the poor
And their babes
So grateful for the many lives
With the grace of God
She died one day in autumn
When amber leaves fell from the tree
And was laid to rest
Beside her daughter
And the Captain Cannon Lee
Dubbed the Rose of Savannah
By those who knew her well
They came by the hundreds
To say their last farewell
In shades of ebony
Were laid upon her grave
Each one in loving memory
For all the lives she
Helped to save
We dwell in quiet places
Where mortals sleep eternally
We earthbound angels made of stone
Keeping vigil for thee
Stone angels carved by human hands
In honor of the dead
Giving meaning to the path
Where mortals dare to tread
Written: June, 2016
Author: Elaine C. George of Canada
Copyright © Elaine George | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Stanley Collymore | Details |
By Stanley Collymore
Never speak ill of the dead we’re constantly and solemnly
exhorted regardless of who they are or the life that
they freely chose to live, as they’re no longer
around, is the lame and unconvincing excuse
that’s often and dishonestly given in explanation, to rebut or
defend their name, any accusations or adverse criticisms,
however concrete or valid they might be, being made
against them; and in those circumstances therefore
to then embark on such a plan would in itself be
quite unbecoming while serving as nothing
more than a cheap and cowardly way of
attempting to exact one’s own revenge.
But hang on a moment, how truly valid is this
simplistic and supposedly moral exhortation; and why
should the intervention of death, distinct from any
other known phenomenon, be the sole exculpation for
someone’s life-long sins and premeditated wrongdoings
that disparagingly have callously, schemingly,
perniciously, quite methodically and comprehensively
destroyed the lives of so many who were
exclusively picked on and especially targeted for
reasons of dogmatic political ideology, or
those specifically and illogically
associated with their race
I was never a miner viewed as the country’s low-life and
thusmalevolently castigated as the enemy within, but
I am and have longstandingly been a proud trade
unionist whose movement just as
viciously by this self-centred,
venal and privileged elite was likewise tarred
with the same condemnatory brush and
scandalously branded the same.
Similarly, I was an anti-apartheid activist firmly
committed, as I always will be, to the noble concept
globally of the universality of human rights, equality
for all human beings and the ultimate eradication
of racism, tirelessly working also in tandem
for freedom of expression by everyone,
genuine democracy and the lawful and
moral right to withhold one’s labour,
and particularly so in manufactured industrial
disputes specifically designed to disrupt the cohesion,
deliberately break-up and ruthlessly destroy the
bargaining rights of all trade unions.
So why would I, or anyone else for that matter
with a social conscience, want to actually
eulogize and not rightly despise someone who,
while together with their husband was
profiting massively financially from South Africa’s
apartheid system, none the less perversely saw fit
to label Nelson Mandela a terrorist and roundly
vilify the ANC as a terrorist organization, while
astonishingly and without a modicum of regret
laud the architects of apartheid and the
ardent supporters of institutionalized
racism as the veritable champions of
what they deem as democracy?
Unless, of course, such individuals have short or convenient
memories and are themselves a complete abomination of what
society, which we were told by this woman doesn’t exist,
or come to that humanity should actually represent!
So I’ve no apologies to make or will I relent from
the stance I’ve taken because Death, inevitable
to us all, has finally, and some would
justifiably say, long-sufferingly and somewhat
kindly stepped in and brought the life of yet
another tyrant to its end. So feel free those of you
who want to eulogize or even dress yourself up
in sackcloth and ashes if you wish amidst your contrived beating
of chests and sorrowful refrains; but in doing so, I’d like for
you in your unrestrained orgy of engineered anguish
and false grief to jointly entreat you to abstain
from ever doing any of this in my name.
© Stanley V. Collymore
12 April 2013.
In the midst of life there is death the great leveller of us all. We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. So what doth it profit a man or woman if in their life time they gain all the riches of the world yet lose their soul for eternity? The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.
Copyright © Stanley Collymore | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Scribbler Of Verses | Details |
someone always told me this with tears in her eyes...
(for Lata Sethi's late-mother, who was my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi)
a wife left South Africa in the 1960’s to join her husband
who was in exile at the time...
in 1970 the husband was sent by the African National Congress to India to be its representative there...
the husband and wife spent two years in Bombay...
one afternoon the husband fell and broke his leg...
the wife knocked on their neighbour’s door, in an apartment complex in Bombay
the neighbour was an old Punjabi lady...
the wife asked the neighbour for a doctor to see to the injured husband...
a Parsi ‘Bone-Setter’ was promptly summoned...
the husband still recalls his anxiety of seeing ‘Bone-Setter’ written on the Parsi gentleman’s bag...
by the way, the ‘Bone-Setter’ worked his ancient craft and surprisingly for the husband, his broken leg healed quite soon...
but still on that day, while the ‘Bone-Setter’ was seeing to the husband...
the wife and the old Punjabi lady from next door got to talking about this and that and where these new Indian-looking wife and husband were from as their accents were clearly not local...
the wife told the elderly Punjabi lady that the husband worked for the African National Congress of South Africa and had left to serve the ANC from exile...
and that they had left their two children behind in South Africa and that they were now essentially political refugees...
the Punjabi lady broke down and wept uncontrollably...
she told the foreign woman that she too had had to leave her home in Lahore in 1947 and flee to India with only the clothes on her back when the partition of the subcontinent took place and Pakistan was formed and at a time when Hindus from Pakistan fled to India and vice versa...
the Punjabi lady then asked the foreign woman her name...
‘Zubeida’, but you can call me ‘Zubie’...
the Punjabi woman hugged Zubie some more, and the two women, seperated by age and geography, wept, sharing a shared pain...
the Punjabi woman told Zubie that she was her ‘sister’ from that day on, and that she felt that pain of exile and forced migration and what being a refugee felt like...
Zubie and her husband Mosie became the closest of friends with the Hindu Punjabi neighbours who were kicked out of Pakistan by Muslims...
then came the time for Mosie and Zubie to leave for Delhi where the African National Congress office was based...
the elderly Punjabi lady and Mosie and Zubie said their goodbyes...
a year or two later, the elderly Punjabi lady’s daughter Lata married Ravi Sethi and the couple moved to Delhi...
the elderly Punjabi lady called Zubie and told her that her daughter was coming to Delhi to live and that she had told Lata, her daughter that she had a ‘sister’ in Delhi...
Lata and Ravi Sethi then moved to Delhi...
This was in the mid-1970’s...
Lata and Zubie became the closest of friends and that bond stayed true, and stays true till today, though Zubie is no more, and the elderly Punjabi lady is no more...
the son and the husband still have a bond with Lata and Ravi Sethi...
a bond that was forged between Hindu and Muslim and between two continents across the barriers of creed and time...
a bond strong and resilient, forged by the pain and trauma of a shared experience...
and that is why, and I shall never stop believing this, that hope shines still, for with all the talk of this and of that, and of that and of this, there will always be a simple woman, somewhere, anywhere, who would take the ‘other’ in as a sister, a fellow human...
and that is why there will always be hope...
hope in the midst of this and of that and of that and of this...
(for Lata Sethi's late-mother, who was my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi)
Copyright © Scribbler Of Verses | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Cat Way | Details |
Sand in my lungs and in every nook and cranny possible, nothing out here not even a simple bush or tree. Everything is dead and dry as a bone. My own skin holds no life, rough and leathery like jerky. Desperate need of lotion, even more of a need for a place called home. This heavy helmet keeps the cooling breeze from touching me and this scratchy, too small for me uniform is thick and full of sweat.They never told you that you would come to a point where you wanted to die, they never said how many people you would see die, they didn’t heed you no warnings all they told you was that your army strong and a brave soul. The jeep’s engine dies and we come to a sudden halt, Sam gets out of the drivers seat and calls break. Break from what? There aint no break here, but we smile and take our helmets off and rest our stressed shoulders on the bars of the open rear vehicle. James hops out and pops open the button on his pants, struggles with the zipper and takes a piss, back to the wind but not back on us. Nick hands me his canteen and I nod with a thanks and take it quickly, my mouth is drier than a cotton field. Syrupy saliva the color of old tobacco form little bridges from the mouth of the bottle to my chapped scaly lips. What I would give for a ice cold beer, sitting on my porch with my woman by my side. I gaze out in the desert and imagine what life will be like when I get home. They will have a huge party waiting for me at the front gate and wash me with hugs and tears. Balloons tied to the fence, all blues and reds with dots of white. Food piled high on tables for hungry soldiers, smeared make up on all the womens faces. My 4 year old daughter running up to me in her favorite pink flower dress. I drop my stare from the clear sky and look at the man in front of me, his face caked with grease and dirt, his clothes dusted by sand and clay, sweat stains on the chest and even bigger ones that formed under his arms. He looks like the devil himself dragged him to hell and back, a shame to look how he looks, but we all look the same. He hunches over, helmet covering his eyes, hands together and elbows on knees, a stance for a dead man. I put my hand out to give him his water back and it takes him a moment to look up and retrieve it. He looks me in the eye for the first time, the green is brighter than any I have ever seen on a man. He gets a old beat up photo out of his chest pocket and hands it to me, a tall beautiful woman is smiling back at me with big brown eyes, almost like burned honey. Hair that falls over her shoulders like waves of oil. A small bundle in her arms, you can see the tiny hands poking out of the snow white teddy bear covered blanket. I look back up and find him staring at me with tears coming from his eyes like a busted pipe, he picks up his pistol from his inner jacket pocket, puts it to his temple and screams like a lost child and pulls the trigger. The sound of his skull shattering, if I ever dream again this is what it would be, it was a crunch like noise with a splatter to compliment it. Blood and brains paint the back of the jeep like frosting. I will never forget this man. Killing for peace is like ****ing for virginity, you can never win. I pick up his gun and look back up at the sky, I was never meant to see my family again. You can hear the bullets flying through the air from a short distance, grenades explode and bombard your ears. The enemy is running toward us, rising on top of the sand dunes with their arabian hunting knives above their heads and guns on their sides like a infant to its mother's breast, thats what they are doing they are hunting us like deer. Clutching the photo to my heart I raise the gun to my head, take one last breath and hold it, squeezed the trigger, the last death I will ever see is my own.
Copyright © Cat Way | Year Posted 2012
Long poem by
Kim Morrison | Details |
Can you see the woman in the window?
She basks in the glow of the moment,
donning a princess pink gown
with a train of angel white.
Nervous tears of joy
stream down her vibrant face
streaking her blushing cheeks
a pallad hue of shadow blue.
Can you see the woman in the window?
She bathes in the light of renewed hope
dressed in a large billowing top
with teddy bears adorning the front.
The sudden thrust of an innocent kick
forces her to clutch her swollen belly,
and a tender smile fades to a wince
as motherhood pains begin to quicken.
Can you see the woman in the window?
she soaks in the brutality of the moment
clothed in a torn cotton gown
with crimson streaks down the front
Like a doll thrown to the floor,
she lay broken against the window
her head twisted slightly askew
with finger bruises around her neck.
Her battered terror ravaged face
pressed against a cracked window pain,
like some macabre masterpiece.
Two crystal blue eyes frozen in fear
now free from the hands of oppression
surrender a horrible unspoken truth.
Huddled next to the cold lifeless body,
a tiny teary-eyed little girl
clutches a frail banded hand,
and loudly whimpers the words:
Mommy! Please wake up!
Have you seen a woman in the window?
Will she be there tomorrow...?
Copyright © Kim Morrison | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
Carlos DeBattista | Details |
I peered into your sky painted eyes
without fully understanding what I might find,
but finding that which I might never fully understand.
My heart is adrift,
like flotsam ,hopelessly adrift.
And the wind that blows is cold,
and the wind that blows is heartless.
And it is governed by circumstance and prejudice,
and fear and scorn and anger and regret and guilt.
And yet more fear, more scorn, more and more of all
that we are not.
But alas, as sheep we must follow that dark shepherd,
though in truth he be but the piper and we be but mice.
We can see the sun setting beyond the jagged headland.
We can smell the sharp scent of the seas.
We can feel its’ cold, cutting spray on our faces.
We can feel the ghastly chill crawling up towards us.
All these things we know, yet still we follow
like sheep and mice.
But Oh, were I but a Wolf.
Then gladly would I hold you as my Moon!
More beautiful than the stars.
Brighter than the sun when the sky is day,
but only to me that gladly shuns the sun.
Oh to be as the wolf, you my Moon,
Smiling, taunting, mocking me,
Unreachable, untouchable, unapproachable,
But There! There and always there for me to sing to
To rage to, to cry, to howl, to weep to and to sing to, there, there,
There; mine though not mine but there for me.
But in truth I am as the Wolf,
And my world is now a heartless Tundra.
I that must thread over ices chill,
through vast open meadows that end only in sky,
ending where they first began, leading me nowhere.
Threading over vast empty spaces yet going nowhere,
For I am a searching soul,
I am a Wolf,
Searching for a moon that no longer shines,
But rather stands painted in a sky tainted by the sallow
Glow of her own dim indifference.
Like the liar’s moon she sits
guarded behind the ethereal shawl
Of her self spawned convictions.
Safe, safe in the false notion of numbness.
Safe in a sanctuary of rosebud expectancy.
Awaiting only the rising of the Sun,
Hoping that with the Sun, she may relieve herself of the sky,
So that the searching Beast might search for her no more,
yet not realizing that only by searching,
might He find himself,
And only by gracing the darkness of his heavens,
may She, the Moon know the true joy of full purpose.
For it is purpose which nourishes the human soul.
It is the mead of the spirit, like soil to the seed,
sunlight and rain to the sapling oak
that must needs grow to the heavens.
For what is love other then a fullness of purpose?
The will to surrender all for but a smile,
A willingness to waste away knowing
That the reward shall be but a sparkle
In a beloved eye.
I am a Wolf.
You are my Moon, and forever shall it be so.
But I will not lay claim to love,
for that I have done before though rashly.
Foolishly and perhaps too eagerly,
When as yet too young, too little knowing of
That which too little understanding,
I was too little in giving, giving too little,
If little more then none at all.
Bur this I can say, and shall say, as must say
with full conviction. With an open mind,
A clear heart and a soul all for you to,
hold, to heal and if you will to scorn!
I am a Wolf,
And you hold within yourself
The fullness of my purpose.
In you I am completely complete,
So completely dazzled by you as to
Stand in complete wonder of you,
A smile on my face, a tear in my heart,
A river in my soul, though around me be only
the cold, barren mountains.
Only the starless sky,
But a longing for the Moon.
Copyright © Carlos DeBattista | Year Posted 2013