Verse

It’s Raining Today

dark-clouds-valley

 r                     a                     i                     n                     r                a                  i                n                                  a                     i                      n                    r                     a                  i                             r         r                                        i                  n                     r                a                  i               n             r        a               i             r                     a                     i                        n                     r                a               i           n            r                     a                     i                         n                     r                a                  i                    r                     a                     i                     n                     r                a                  i                  r                     a                     i                       n                     r                a                i          n                 r                   a                 i                    r                     a                     i                     n                     r                a                  i                n                                  a                     i                      n                    r                     a                  i               r             a                                    i                  n                     r                a                  i               n             r        a               i                                  a                     i                        n                     r                a               i           n            r            a                     a                     i                         n                     r                a                  i                    r              a                     i                     n                     r                a                  i                  r                     a                     i                       n                     r                a                i          n                 r                   a                 i              n        r                     a                     i                     n                     r                a                  i                n                                  a                     i                      n                    r                     a                  i                       n            r                                        i                  n                     r                a                  i               n             r        a               i             r                     a                     i                        n                     r                a               i           n            r                     a                     i                         n                     r                a                  i                    r                    a                     i                     n                     r                a                  i                  r                     a                     i                       n                     r                a                i          n                 r       puddle                                    puddle        puddle              puddle             puddle puddle                  puddle  puddle  puddle      puddle         puddle     puddle   puddle      puddle

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sometimes

sometimes

only, maybe, every

second second

I think of how

she

u   s   e   d   t   o   p   l   a   y   t   h   e   p   i   a   n   o

nude

w

                  i

t

                                 h

o

        n

e

                    f

i

                                                       n

g

                                    e

r,

                                                   n

o

                                   t

e

by

n

                                                                    o

                                                                t

                                                                                  e           

as the sun

        os

r                                   e

she                             looked

beautiful.

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

Beauty – (for dverse)

Beauty

is an

airplane

in raindrops of time

Eyes that bewitch, dreamcatcher eyes with multicoloured stories inside

gina

A flower of a smile reaching deep

A memory of  fish and chips trees wrapped in newspaper leaves 

The curves in the sand dunes

the waves when you bathe

And your coffee on my lips, when you walk away again

For beauty is the sky, the goodbye, the flame in a story we let melt.

¤
¤
¤
¤
¤
¤

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Magpie Tales: Story from a Bottle

lips

lips like that won’t shatter glass
lips like that will get stuck to your ass
slipping and sliding down a mine
tumbling and wondering if you’ll stop this time
serve me pennies serve me pills
serve me a manner of different ills
hide me safely in the dark
cushion me with your glossy smile
a luxuriant version of a holy kiss

but what
I’ve really come to say
is as from today
your childhood’s closed
all your memories
will be locked up
tiny capsules
melting on my tongue
a devil’s brew never to return
so you wasted the most precious in you
the freshest, flashest, the best of you
and your lips will never shatter the glass
and all the bottles are still there
and the pills with no name
hidden in your underwear

of all things to lose
and remember of none
youth seems the one
that hurts the most
for devil you came
in such a good disguise
with your enchanting
erotic timeless
smooth
angelic
s m i l e

 

magpie tales statue stamp 185

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Magpie Tales

new york restaurant 1922 edward hopper

new york restaurant 1922 edward hopper

in a charming old bistrot
in the time it took to taste my tea
whirl the leaves
a newspaper in front of me
and find out
Ghandi’s son raped his eight
year old girl

its fashionable to not talk about such things
at a restaurant with such fine trimmings
such richness of discussion
coy eye blinks, a-flutter above tilted cup
but I saw his letter to his son
where he talked about what horror had been done
and the pain of an eight year old daughter

so in the time it took
to put down my tea
my faith in the world dissolved around me
and my sympathy for various vagrancies
became undone

I became a murderer in my heart
and passed you the milk
I ordered you a cupcake
and pondered on fate
for if Ghandi’s son can commit such a murder
of faith
then anyone can do asunder to another
and most likely will

 

for magpie tales

Categories: Verse | Tags: | 21 Comments

Magpie Tales: Suspended

image by Martin Stranka

image by Martin Stranka

like a flapjack bought at a highway store
undressed from plastic on a flat top
and ejected at a reststop
I found freedom to cruise

crushed by second hand truckers on table tops
numbed by the candy I had to suck
leftover from someone’s pockets
I had to choose

barefoot on route 66
if I make it to the west coast
before 5 o’clock
you can have my ass

San Fransisco’s Golden Gate
on the back of a Harley Davidson
or maybe it was all a dream
flushed down a toilet at the rest stop

another coffee at the counter
another evening wasted almost masturbated
in this small town that’s just a dot
on a map at an old egg yoke pitstop

 

___________________

for magpie tales

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Remembering An Explosion

A cloud of poison

Didn’t hide the sun

Invisible to us

But not our organs

 

Twenty eight years ago today

The cloud came our way

They called it a nuclear disaster

When an explosion rocked the reactor

 

And these days the lichen is still poisoned

And years of babies stillborn

Figures hard to fathom

Cause governments still hide them

 

The Finnish government changed criteria for deformations

The Belorussian one reminds us of 3 million starved under Stalin

The Russian government is just Putin

But people are still dying

 

Thousands of children sick for all their lives

Living in institutions

As a result of that explosion

In reactor four in Ukraine

 

The largest amount of radioactivity ever released

But still thousands of  times less

Than the bomb tests

In the Pacific Ocean….

 

The Chernobyl nuclear power disaster that contributed to the end of the Soviet Union is twenty seven million tears old today….

A95-CCP-8

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Magpie Tales: Graduation Day

Finland, 1968, photo by George F. Mobley

Finland, 1968, photo by George F. Mobley

before
they let the balloons go
colourful stories
filled
to flow
float
fly
almost endlessly
rip
on jagged branches
lie defeated
in the tumbling snow
blown
torn
on the jagged edges
of jagged stone

before
the balloons
were let loose
from the palms of our hands
from the psalms
of our defunct books
so much was left unsaid
on lips
already poisoned
by too much innocence
too numbed by cold

and anyway
with nothing
nothing to say
before we passed
the real tests
and regressed
moved to our caves
let our balloons take our stories
far from us
in sunset skies
and jagged branches
where even the snow had dried
and we wonder
if we ever really tried?

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

If Jesus Was a Woman (For Magpie Tales)

el greco feast-in-the-house-of-simon 1610 (1)


Feast in the House of Simon, 1610, El Greco

If Jesus was a woman
and not a lesbian
Would there still be feminism?
Would religion start to make sense to me?
And would she have worn a bra?

Could she possibly have had
better hair?
Along with line in fine lingerie
for those seeking salvation
in the arms of a woman

Would her twelve disciples have been women too?
Would they have cross-dressed
or simply just had more style?
And would she have hung from the cross?

And would Peterina
Upon arrival in Rome
have been hung upside down?

If the Buddha had been all-woman
would she have sat under tree so long?

If Stalin had been a little girl
from somewhere deep in the Urals
would the gulags have functioned so well?

Its only Mick Jagger
that would remain the same
if history could be changed
To be herstory
And of course me
Though then
I would be une Lesbienne
-as I secretly am

magpie tales statue stamp 185

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After The Storm

After the

s

              t

                               o

                                              r

                                                             m

She walked

t

a

l

l

Kept well to the

c

e

n

t

r

e

of the

s

t

r

e

e

t

             Felt

the

                 fresh

surface

                under

the

                soles

of

                her

feet

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Oh My Afghanistan

Oh what did you become
My beauty, Afghanistan
So many invasions
So many tortured
Under so many suns

Who has heard of Herat
Beautiful centre of literature
World capital of poetry
Attacked for its spirit by the British
Bombed by the Soviets
Assasssinated by the Taliban
Bombed by the Americans

And the Hindu Kush
Mountains of beauty
To which one went through
To see Kabul
Exotic Kabul that rivalled Katmandu
Marrakesh
Samarkand
Kashmir
And Goa
For those who traveled to see Oriental beauty

What has become of you
My Afghanistan
Violence begets violence
Begets violence
Now terrified of the Taliban
Terrified of the Americans

Terrified of Bagram
Farmers tortured for 9/11
Which they’d never heard of

Terrified of everyone

Terrified under the sun

Categories: Verse | Tags: | 1 Comment

Magpie Tales – Flamed

cigarette-1949-u-of-mich-fraternity-party-stanley-kubrick-for-look-mag

a cigarette away from you
I light my tribe
cunningly disguised-
not yet distressed

and you
a moth to the flame
how much change did you
slot into your parking meter
how many cigarettes later
will you still be here

light me
with your anti-desire
conformity
to whose shoes you speak- is a puff away

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

2-1=0

when I turned around
she’d left town
Forgetting to collect her last words
from my mind

her polish still in the bathroom
where she did her toes
and her watch on the chair
still yelling me the time

and open doors of rooms
permanently closed to emotion
no dishes in the kitchen sink
phones that make no calls

a shower permanently dry
trees sweeping their own leaves outside
pavements bare, sterile and cold
streets that go nowhere under rain that won’t fall

and the drip on the faucet that demands to be fixed
as if I have the time now I’m alone
and anyway it’s not my fault
she should have turned it tight before she left home

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An Endless Migration In Us…The Fourth Qasida

Taha Muhammad Ali (1931-2011) wrote most of the poems for his first book in 1982 and 1983, when the Israel Defense Forces were invading Lebanon, leading to the massacres at Sabra and Shatila.  But it was in 1948, in Muhammad Ali’s village of Saffuriya, captured by the army of the newborn Jewish state, that the seeds of  The Fourth Qasida were probably planted.

Along with most of the village’s population, the teenage Muhammad Ali and his family fled on foot to a refugee camp in Lebanon, where his 12-year-old sister, Ghazaleh, died of meningitis. They were able to sneak back a year later and eventually even to obtain Israeli residence cards, but were never to return to their ancestral village, as Saffuriyya had been razed to the ground and turned into Tzippori, a moshav or Israeli settlement. Taha Mohammed Ali  settled in Nazareth instead, where he opened a souvenir shop for Christian tourists.

In his poem “The Fourth Qasida,” Muhammad Ali addresses Amira, the girl to whom he was betrothed in childhood, but whom he was not able to marry because she ends up on the wrong side of the Lebanese-Israeli border. Amira’s mysterious departure, never to return, can be equated to the events around Saffuriyya, but is left open for the reader’ s own interpretation at the same time.

The deeply moving poem is full of the flavour of what used to be known as ”Asia Minor’, with its references to nature and fruits, which add tragic appeal. The Fourth Qasida can thus almost be tasted, and is a poem, like many in Arabic tradition, that should be read or ”thought” aloud.

With each reading one discovers more, as always, and for me, in the latest reading, it is when a sudden ”powerful feeling” grows, that Amira might return, and then the sudden shout of ”Amira!” of the last stanza, that echoes still now. Enjoy the read. 

The Fourth Qasida

When our loved ones leave
Amira,
as you left,
an endless migration in us begins
and a certain sense takes hold in us
that all of what is finest
in and around us,
except for the sadness,
is going away—
departing, not to return.

The pomegranate trees
whose flowers you loved,
drooped and their shade withdrew,
and the path, and the china bark tree,
and the brooks—
all departed
after you left
and won’t return.

~

During the winter
strange birds seeking refuge arrive,
among them quails
and songbirds with colorful wings,
and also birds of prey,
and some that are sad and frail
and hold you spellbound in their goodness
gathering pebbles and grain,
and trembling in the tremendous cold
and out of a sense of profound strangeness—
though all of a sudden together they leave.
They come as one in winter suddenly,
as with it they suddenly flee.

~

I have, Amira, a strange and powerful feeling,
which grows still stronger in winter,
becoming increasingly forceful
and strange,
and I sense that you’ll arrive
one day with these birds,
an olive’s dove—
enchanting,
sweet-smelling,
graceful and gentle,
and restless,
alighting near
the almond tree in our garden.
A dove whose feelings of cold are fatal,
whose sense of strangeness can kill,
whose longing for the olive
grove is lethal;
a dove who smiles,
her eyes holding gardens of sadness,
while joy’s remains linger on in her coo.
The minute I see her, I’ll know her,
and recognize, too, catastrophes’ rings
hanging from her tender neck.
I’ll know her clear, springlike glance,
her dewy gaze
like the dreams of lakes.
I’ll know her shy, velvety steps,
her measured paces,
like breaths taken by seedlings of lettuce.
And I’ll know her sweet, singular, lilac voice,
which—every time I heard it—
I sensed was coming from deep within me,
a remote place within my soul,
lost and unknown—
this voice that reaches me
and which I greet
and embrace before my hearing stirs.
I will not mistake it,
for I can distinguish between
the voices of all the doves of the world
gathered together in a single garden.
And when I see her, my feet will set out
for the heart’s site within my breast.
But I will not let her see the tears
welling up in my eyes,
neither the tears of my joy for her,
nor the tears of my fear for her,
and not the tears of years of sadness,
nor my years of pain.
My blood will rush in my veins
to meet her then and welcome her.
And she will know us as well,
our sadness will lead her to us,
our anticipation will lead her to us,
the longing will lead her,
the evenings, the ardor.
The night will guide her,
and the clouds and grass
and the forest will show her the way,
the seasons and rivers
and paths—
all will guide her towards us.
And she will know us and cry
remember us and weep,
gather the greens and grain
and sob,
tremble from the force of the cold
and the depth of strangeness,
and weep,
We’ll tell her of the fields of thorn,
the colocynth fruit
and crimes of the wind,
the fangs of dispersal,
the mill of night and its cruelty,
the ardor of evening;
we’ll speak to her of defeat,
of bitterness and the loss—
and remind her of the olive buds,
as she weeps on and on.
She’ll neither find us strange nor fear us,
and she will not draw back from us,
but suddenly she’ll depart
as suddenly as she appeared,
and the winter that brought her
with it when it arrived
that morning will pass from our garden
swiftly like a train.
Waking from her slumber
in terror then, she’ll cry
and hanging from one of its coaches’ windows
she’ll weep,
withdrawing into the distance,
the tears filling her lovely eyes.

~

Amira!
When our loved ones leave us,
as you left,
an endless migration in us begins,
and a certain sense takes hold in us
that all of what is finest
in and around us,
except for the sadness,
is going away,
departing, not to return.

There Was No Farewell
We did not weep
when we were leaving—
for we had neither
time nor tears,
and there was no farewell.
We did not know
at the moment of parting
that it was a parting,
so where would our weeping
have come from?
We did not stay
awake all night
(and did not doze)
the night of our leaving.
That night we had
neither night nor light,
and no moon rose.
That night we lost our star,
our lamp misled us;
we didn’t receive our share
of sleeplessness—
so where
would wakefulness have come from?

Should you wish to ”hear” some more from Taha Mohammed Ali, please do click on this poetry reading of ”Revenge”, read by the poet in Arabic, then by Peter Cole in English (just before the 4th minute), a pearl of an experience.

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Ode to the Troll

This piece has been commissioned by myself for dverse science fiction poetry, hosted tonight by the unequalled Bjorn Rudberg.

fool was I
did I think the troll would just
fly by?

I was warned
don’t trust them – or anyone
who wears their heart on their sleeves

and there it is, it’s heart
glowing maliciously in the dark
pumping sparks that will not ignite

I wonder what the troll thinks it is
perhaps the Marine of the internet
invading free speech

you come from a dark planet
full of insidious plants
but your words – I fear – have little effect

feed yourself on another
you’re a victim of your own success
or lack of it

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Magpie Tales – The Dancer

Degas, Edgar, Danseuse ajustant sa bretelle, négatif 1895-1896.

Degas, Edgar, Danseuse ajustant sa bretelle, négatif 1895-1896.

just an old photograph
of a dancer loved
admired
desired
an old photograph forgotten for years
but the story endures
whispers
pirouetting
dancing
on tiptoes
from the past

the scandal of Paris
one hears
her affairs
how they caused red ears
god I hope so
I really hope so
and defy
anyone
anyone at all
to say that does not 
endear

magpie tales statue stamp 185For Magpie Tales – click on the pic

 

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

10,000 People Or More, Or More

10,000 people or maybe more
perished in a faraway land
drowned in a tropical storm
don’t worry they weren’t at your front door

more meat for fundamentalists
who speak of god’s wrath and destruction
especially for those without white skin
10,000 people or more, surely more

perished  in a monsoon sweeping through islands
I don’t know, no-one spent 1 minute blogging about it
I don’t want to read any self-centred verse
about silly unrequited love or worse

the only anger I see
is when I tell people I chop down trees
people who don’t even know what a forest is
sanctimonious Sunday preachers

so those who scream
when someone catches a frog
telling them to let it live
you hypocrite

10,000 people or more died in the Philippines – give them a thought

rorshach

BBC Pictures of typhoon

Written for MindLoveMisery weekly prompt- Rorshach test

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

At Rat’s Creek

the sailing boats have sunk
down at rat’s creek where a summer
was not complete without
at least one great big furry rat bite

where knees were meant to be skinned
and where Josie taught me
how to have sinned
down where the water rose each spring

where summer we dared each other
to swim the length of the pond bared
to the midday sun
nothing on except water

and where in those Autumn days
the sun sent its last golden rays
and one by one the boats clogged with leaves
till there was only my one boat left sinking 

so I grew up too
loved and lost and left town
and rat’s creek is now frozen 
every time I’m there in the snow

all the sailing boats have sunk forever
Josephine’s doesn’t even recognise me anymore
glass in her hand when she answers the door
the boats are all sunk – and  there’ll never be anymore summers


written for the wonderful http://dversepoets.com/ page – (topic Childhood Toys & Games), a truly beautiful bi-weekly challenge. My apologies for not getting the reading done I want. But I will.

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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