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

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Ode To Traffic Wardens

I used to hate
traffic wardens
when I was a slave to society
but now I see them
for who they are
our holy warriors
slaying dragon cars
appearing just on time
to lay down a beautiful fine
their little sword a pen
but oh don’t be mistaken
its a mighty weapon
and their shield the simple note pad
which such style they wield

Yes! Oh yes!

…oh thee of tight uniforms ankles bare
our proud holy warriors
marching in your ranks
to my eye you bring a tear
the dobermans of an Orwellian animal farm
and part of our war against terroni
on behalf of nations and corporations
yes hail the heroes who set us free!
they are veritably our kindred kind
how I’d love to put my arms around your neck
advance fair until a car be found
or hope for a delivery truck
to which an orgasmic ticket written
feels better than a …Original Sin

Categories: Opinion | Tags: | Leave a comment

Friday Fictioneers – Last Known Words of HMG Gurrumul, Lead Explorer of the Queen Bentafrou Antartic Expedition, date and year unverifiable

…Ladies and gentlemen who may read, I fear these may be my last known words, not for want of trying, but because one does want posterity to keep a kind eye cast and not a presumptuous giggle, and it is clear my colleagues and I are rapidly succumbing to the effects of unverifiable collective delirium.

I enclose the film for you to process if found, to see if indeed we have ‘lost it’ as they say. But we have walked by a mirage of a river and fauna in the Antarctic sun for hours and are too weak to continue. Surely the photo will show snow, no more-

Friday Fictioneers found here –  http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ Thank you, Rochelle

Photograph by kind courtesy - http://erinlearywrites.com/

Categories: Opinion | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Meditation Haiku

sound of bell
meditation stops
haiku starts

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Haiku from the Wind

Lappland leaf carried by a breeze from Italy - (please click on Semprento’s name above to see poetry by my beautiful, graceful Italian poet who whispers words into the breeze)

the wind speaks
a leaf
falls

by Semprento

 

Categories: Haiku | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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.

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Fictioneers ~ A Wrong Kind Of Music

“Where are those clowns?” enquired the chairman, with a snarl designed to look impatient.

At last they trooped in, all three of them, via the fire exit.

“Think outside the box on this one,” said team leader, “we did, see where we came in?” He tapped his forehead and winked.

“Give it to me, Sunshine.” Said chairman.

“Ok!” Team leader sparked: let’s do it guys!”

His team unveiled the large picture with a flourish of bullfighters.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Delux toilet paper, like music on your behind! Read the caption, next to Team Leader’s proud smile.

“Delux exit front door, like my boot on yours,” replied chairman.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Friday Fictioneers 100 Word stories is run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – photo by John Nixon

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

100WCGU ~ Knock Knock!

image004“Well I don’t know.”

“You don’t? Why not?”

“What’s the slogan again?”

“KNOCK KNOCK..it’s hilarious!”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why is it hilarious?”

“Well, knock knock, you know, and he’s knocking over a vase. Funny!”

“How does that sell me cameras?”

“It doesn’t.”

“I see.”

“Well, not directly, but subluminably..”

“The word is sublinally.”

“Yeah, sublalli…uh, yeah, anyway, makes people want to shoot those kind of pictures when they see that advert.”

“I see, shoot as in, fire.”

“Uh, well, I suppose could be..”

“As in, when I see that advert it makes me want to shoot you.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Bang. Out!”

100wcgu

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Friday Fictioneers: Even A Horse Can Laugh!

copyright-janet-webb

“There it is!” He announced proudly, jettisoning up from his seat, “Oor new hoosie, oor new home!”

“What!” She shrieked, hanging from his arms like a clothes stand, her buffant wedding dress ruffled and reaching for mud.

“Do ye no’ like it, my bonnie wee lass?” He enquired into the mass of creamy chiffonerie.

“But…you bought paint, you said you’d been painting!” She said, octaves rising with syllables, fervent hope in eyes a deeper desperation at each furlonged glance.

“Och lass, can ye no’ see the fence?” He swept his arm out sideways, her wedding dress now osmosis in the mud.

“Wrghhpllrph!” The horse said, head bobbing.

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((For Friday Fictioneers)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

“The weekly gathering of the Fictioneers has commenced.  Bring out the halt, the lame, the blind, the murderers and aliens, vampires and vamps. Look carefully and you might see a human or two.  Take them all, stir thoroughly, add a dollop of disbelief, a soupçon of silliness. Dip a spoon into the resulting slumgullion:  each recipe meticulously prepared, marvelously rendered, tasty to the tongue.  Your personal recipe is solicited or feel free to simply feast and go away replete; perhaps not always uplifted, but with your brain stimulated.” –Janet Webb

THE CHALLENGE: 

Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end.

Run by ye incomparable Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photograph by Janet Webb

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , , | 46 Comments

Friday Fiction ~ A Career Change

Ol’ Pops Dawson had been a cleaner at Brisbane Airport as long as he’d been cleaning, but had never been in a plane. So it seemed natural when he saw the pilot’s hat and jacket behind the desk at the gate that he would just try them on in the walkway.

When he boarded the plane he remembered not to look too joyful, and when he slipped into the pilot’s seat and put headphone on, he happily replied to the control tower:

“Uh…yeah, this is Tango Lima 332 ready for departure.”

He okayed the purser’s request to close all doors and let the copilot fire up engines.

Captain Olson, returning from the bathroom, was somewhat perturbed to see his jet pulling out of the stand.

  _ _ _   ___ ___ ___   _ _ _   ___ ___ ___

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS 100 WORD STORIES

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , , | 94 Comments

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