Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Hurricanes visit

Hurricanes visit
with the best of intentions
they think of us
even from far away
turn up announced
breaking barriers
steel barriers
sound barriers
race religious war and peace barriers
dragging them kilometres
sandy beaches skinned to the bone
sweeping us away
with our love letters and phone bills
death cancels old debts
intervening god-like
with love and fury
provoking accidental justice
summoning all its armies
ominous horsemen on the horizon
ready to strip us of all honours
stripping homes naked
fireplaces melt into ice cubes
survivors on the rocks
nature's smug cocktail.

In gray silence stormy seas seek the green light
from quaking earth trembling
to join the party.

House of refugees (Shaati Camp, Gaza Strip)

Mother:
Rain falls on roof
it keeps us awake
asbestos and zinc
make loud noise
rain comes in too
she doesn’t stop knocking
in summer it’s too hot
in winter too cold
no spring here
no light ever bothers visit us
not even candles
can show my face in the mirror.

We get sea water in our taps
we can’t drink
in our home
I can only wash away
my silly dreams in salty water.

Grandfather:
Oh the time
we went out at sea
we could sink on our boat
in torrents of fish
blessing our daily life
giving us faith in multitudes
when holy sea washed our land
making it also holy
when love was love
and the horizon was our friend.

I look for memories of that time
I find glimpses
the dying colours
skin silver turning brown sepia
in eyes of rotting catches
at the early morning market
once our mosque of gratitude
our shop of plenty
our breakfast venue
our little square
where smells and shouts
exchanged with shekels,
when we could swim
with waves of promise and freedom.

Son:
I’ll never ride that boat again
I’m too young to die
too young to feel the sea’s melancholy.
It belongs to my father
to my grandfather
to my older brother, even,
they took their time
to fall in love
casting nets of desire
on bluer pastures,
they washed their skin
with salty cuts
painfully pleasant
for those used to them.

Me, I’ve seen the sea
turning red
my eyes blackened
hooded by bored recruits
policing the horizon
me, I’ve seen checkpoints
floating where my father used to swim naked
I was raped with a gun
and the collaborating freezing water
I’m not in love with the sea
I’ve been betrayed by the sea
I was stripped naked
at gunpoint
by the sea.

Here’s a shell for you,
they say you hear the sea
if you eavesdrop into dead matter.
I hear gunshots.
I prefer silence.
It has no colour.

Father:
My children,
they see me
getting smaller on my chair
I keep my thoughts
to me
that’s the one thing
they can’t see
they can see my eyes
brown with tiredness
my white undershirt
turning yellow with borrowed time,
they can see my depression
in little pill boxes
and long hibernation
red crescent flaking
on medicine chest,
my trinkets of fake happiness,
my wife,
I love her,
I cry, she listens
I beat her, she listens
she shields our children
I’d love to take them to the luna park
somewhere where we can
feel afraid together again
and laugh
and hold each other
without the fear of drowning
floating in nothingness
amid cartoon fireworks
on thick white clouds
where everything happens
and nothing gets taken.

Daughter:
I study by candle light
generator killed our neighbours
they died in their sleep
peacefully
dreaming
we don’t afford a generator death.

We live by candle light
and die by candle light
it’s OK, light is light
it gives me as much as it can,
lovingly,
I grab as much as I can
it’s late but noisy
I won’t sleep with candle light
it’s late, I’m sleepy,
even as the drones buzz above
white weapons
running on batteries and fuel
we don’t have
to run the washing machine.

I’ll become an engineer
connect tree houses
to little bulbs
energy-saving making martyrdom redundant
energy-saving preventing
useless explosions
in houses and buses
dead tired resistance
closed spaces
once opened they become smaller
closed spaces
swallowing my brothers, my father,
closing spaces
forcing my mother to doctor us
not yet dead but expired.
I’ll become an engineer
break down ugly concrete
build new bridges out of old tanks
allow the wind to sweep away
invaders and their slaves alike
break circles of home-made history
with well-oiled machinery
you wait
just like I wait
you’ll see
just like I see.

Writing in the season of lunacy

Oh look,
writing has arrived
in the season of lunacy.
How timely
and kindly
pushing its short-lettered wheelchair
looking out for my fall
any moment might happen
festive accidents
improbable healings
parties gatecrashed by undertakers
death comes in disguise
the furtive mate with the assertive
giving us offspring of blessings
and powerful prescriptions
lasting as long as obsession
injecting hope in generous doses
at the Intensive Unit of Despair
filling the void with more words
filling the blanks with explosives
filling guilt with narcissistic forgiveness
filling shorter days with blinding fire
filling the insane with saintly ecstasy
filling the bed-ridden pulsating memories
with you.

Let me cast you a net of my sadness — Rebecca Wynn

Let me cast you a net of my sadness
And see what we can catch
The seas are empty now
And I stare at the horizon
As the tide retreats

I beckon the restless sand
Call on it to deliver a spark, a jest, a miracle
The sort that would see a smile surface
Like a dolphin out of asphalt
Surprising shoppers on a Sunday afternoon

A tickle of a tear streams down my face
And I pick it up
Bite its rough sapphire glow
My medallion, I enlace it in a strand of seaweed

Even this aqua blue
Will pass
And I will glide again with the shoal
But you were there as this matted net was cast

jaywalking the moon

the clock ticks slowly
& i’m listening
to the concert on the street,

a violin,
gut wrenching melody,

from the gallery window,
painted clowns, keep smiling,
sMiLinG– at me,

& i buy a card,
Klimt’s “Kiss” //on the blank,
white inside write
one single line beCause

i’m not afraid
of empty spaces–
suddenly, then

seal the envelope & put
the stamp a little awry,

take the way back barefoot
through the park, soil,
grass– sun’s lips

tight on mine, we don’t
let go, toDay,
not for a minute–

.

tonight it’s my turn with hosting OpenLinkNight at dVerse.. no theme, just pure poetry.. bring your verse and join us when we open the doors at 3pm EST

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Was that an owl’s feather?

Was that an owl's feather
the one you photographed
in the woods
posted on faceless screens
to be liked
by easily distracted passersby
squealing mice fleeing friendly voyeurs?

Would you believe
if I told you
I found it this morning
under my wide open window
staring at me unblinking
a stare that opens old doors
glaring white feather
from your album of nature
promiscuous nature
flirting with coke
lined out on poetic barcodes.

Did you really have to do that?

I Sit and Look Out — Walt Whitman

I SIT and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all
oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with
themselves, remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying,
neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the treacherous seducer
of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be
hid—I see these sights on the earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see martyrs and
prisoners;
I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting lots who
shall be kill’d, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon
laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look
out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.
.
— Walt Whitman

If words had no meaning


If words had no meaning
you wouldn't be here,
would you?
Who would perform 
open heart surgery 
on a dead pulse,
an autopsy on dumb drums? 
Would you?
Who would etch soulless
tattoos on virginal skin
prepare fashion models for burial
flee from friendly incestuous homes
dare defy the imperative of gravity
for a mass of words
with no meaning?
Would you?

Dinosauria, We — Charles Bukowski

Born like this
Into this
As the chalk faces smile
As Mrs. Death laughs
As the elevators break
As political landscapes dissolve
As the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
As the oily fish spit out their oily prey
As the sun is masked
We are
Born like this
Into this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes
Born into this
Walking and living through this
Dying because of this
Muted because of this
Castrated
Debauched
Disinherited
Because of this
Fooled by this
Used by this
Pissed on by this
Made crazy and sick by this
Made violent
Made inhuman
By this
The heart is blackened
The fingers reach for the throat
The gun
The knife
The bomb
The fingers reach toward an unresponsive god
The fingers reach for the bottle
The pill
The powder
We are born into this sorrowful deadliness
We are born into a government 60 years in debt
That soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt
And the banks will burn
Money will be useless
There will be open and unpunished murder in the streets
It will be guns and roving mobs
Land will be useless
Food will become a diminishing return
Nuclear power will be taken over by the many
Explosions will continually shake the earth
Radiated robot men will stalk each other
The rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms
Dante’s Inferno will be made to look like a children’s playground
The sun will not be seen and it will always be night
Trees will die
All vegetation will die
Radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men
The sea will be poisoned
The lakes and rivers will vanish
Rain will be the new gold
The rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind
The last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases
And the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition
The petering out of supplies
The natural effect of general decay
And there will be the most beautiful silence never heard
Born out of that.
The sun still hidden there
Awaiting the next chapter.
— Charles Bukowski

Together we will live forever

My dear princess
I've followed your fatal scent
and believed your every fairy tale
drunk from your chalice
in the warmth of your breast
waited for centuries in freezing death chambers
defied the pleas of the wise
set out to prove them wrong
burnt their warning letters in your fire
as we built our fortress
my cannon pointed at approaching armies
cynical soulless trolls
armed zealots sent by pious vicars
craving our destruction,
there's no death we can't withstand
in our castle
just believe in me now
we drank each others' blood
carried out all essential rituals
left our memories etched on old trees
I'm no longer scared.
Together we will live forever.

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