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

Līgo Haībun Challenge – Polkadotted Memories

 
Belinda-Broughton2

Aye well, there I was, in Nagyatad, early 1990s, trying to do something for the Bosnian refugees. Nagytad, a town in southern Hungary, bordering Croatia and near Bosnia, and where busloads of Bosnian refugees were sent. Anti-tourists, staring from bus windows, not in shock, not in boredom, not in anything actually. War survivors are just like you and me, and are not a special breed of kittens needing petting, or incapables needing shouted at to stand in line. But one of the penchants of our western world is organisation and efficiency, so they do get shouted at, and organised. But what is almost worse is the sentimentality that afflicts many. And refugees make ideal people to coo at.

In Nagyatad new arrivals were locked in a cage for a week or two. The UN supplied finances to pay doctors to check for illnesses and disease, but the greedy Hungarians pocketed the cash and put new refugees in cages to see if any disease developed. If not they were chucked into the dorms or sent to the dark corridors of the psychiatric wing, in this ex-Soviet military camp with radioactive grounds and tiled paintings of tanks firing emblazoned on walls.

I befriended a young blond woman who lived in one of the cages, a few days before I left. It was a strange friendship, her, bubbly, glad to be alive, in fetching red polkadotted dress, about to suffer her breakdown, and me, absurdly and stoically upset, knowing more details about her family in Bosnia than her.

when I think of her
I hope she is free now
in all ways

Līgo Haībun Challenge here. Drawing by belindabroughton 

Categories: Haibun | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Carpe Diem Haiku, Photographing

Ye gods, what a difficult prompt, that others will as usual take in their stride! I saw some beautiful haiku in yesterday’s prompt, here (Maniparna), here (Gillena) and here (Celestine). But also here (Ese) and many more…

‘Photographing’ seems tough. What clever imagery could we evoke? Striking the right balance in a haiku is difficult, and I think I’m going to find a vintage Japanese photograph to sprinkle with words.

geisha+hairstyle+portrait+2

photographing
a dream makes me
dream

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Carpe Diem Haiku Special, Soen Nakagawa’s “boundless autumn”

All the haiku by Soen Nakagawa have a strong, deeper, Zen layer and in this one Zen is also clearly in there. The goal of this CD Special is to write a haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the one by the featured haiku-poet, seen just below.


endless is my vow
under the azure sky
boundless autumn

Here is my effort.

under a great blue sky
Mongolian grasslands promise freedom
the wolf howls

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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

Carpe Diem Haiku’s Tan Renga

The challenge – to turn this haiku by Chevrefeuille into a tanka with two lines, hopefully of 7 syllables each.

in the backyard
the rainbow in the birdbath breaks -
a sipping Magpie
glittering reflection sways
on the sunlit garden wall

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Carpe Diem Haiku – Fasting

I can give up all
but not my bellydancer’s holy dance
in ramadan

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Carpe Diem Haibun – Beach

Beaches don’t come much colder than Aberdeen beach, in the northwest of Scotland. But before people bustled onto planes to get drunk abroad, Aberdeen beach was a popular holiday destinations for hardy Aberdonians. They don’t make folk like that anymore. Nowadays, of course, none venture in such cold waters when their are holidays further south to be had.

Advances in technology have brought a fair amount of improvements to our lives, but for every action there is a reaction. Isn’t that the first law of Physics?

Our food is worse now, not better. Our health and fitness worse. The food is less nutritious, and there is much less variety of it, a little known fact. There are many less varieties of apples around than there used to be 50, or a 100 years ago, for example, as industrial production seeks the cheapest to produce, the farthest away. One day we will learn more by looking back, except that many of these varieties have disappeared, forever. In fact there are storage centres desperately being arranged and built in an effort to preserve seeds of disappearing varieties of foodstock. It is that bad.

Our ancestors never got to see and experience what we do, but not everything they believed and lived by was wrong. Our social fabric is torn. Today we have what has become the propagandist aggressive negativity of Feminism, for example, while before we had gentlemen, and decency towards women. Even, maybe, in Aberdeen!

Scottish Comedian Billy Connolly gives an account of Aberdeen beach in his particular style which gives a fair idea of Aberdeen beach – start at 4.40 mins for his account of swimming in Aberdeen.

And the emptiness of Aberdeen beach today…

88beach_1

loneliness by the sea
what is found over horizons
is found here too

each step in sand
as if never there
but a continent conquered

desert oasis
aroma of water
but only sand

her hands tell a story
we travelled miles to see
while her belly shimmers

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

Carpe Diem Haibun – Raindrop

Everyone remembers rain. I think rugby players have a special affinity for rain, when it is pouring down, and you are losing by 2, or 3 points, with as many minutes left to play. Chests are heaving after a break in play, trying, fighting to get oxygen and energy in, and vapour is rising in steam.

The rain pours, the drops skirting eyelids, sliding on the vaseline smeared there if you are a forward, part of the pack, but not noticed anyway. The captain making a secret signal, ball in hand, ready to take the free kick, the referee about to blow his whistle for the kick to be taken, but checking his watch anyway.

The ball about to be tapped, then thrown like a bullet into my chest, where I must grab it and hold, and be pushed over the line to get those 5 points. Must not fumble that slippery ball, or tumble when my team hit from behind to shove me over the line, as the other team line up, ready.

Then my team mate sees the butterfly in our path. Breaks away, scoops it up carefully, runs to a woman with an umbrella, watching, puts the butterfly on her arm. The referee looks on, bemused, then blows the whistle. The ball slaps into my sodden chest in the pouring rain. We charge, hit, hard.

But the butterfly is safe.

in the monsoon
one raindrop lands
on a butterfly

I learnt something that day. And life goes on.

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Carpe Diem Haibun – Bjorn’s Lingering Cold

Sometimes it feels like that’s all there is left. Two old warrior’s we felt ourselves to be, at the kitchen table this morning, my painter and I. Both about the same age. In his youth he’d been a UN blue beret – attached to the UN through the Finnish army. In my youth, with my beret green, I’d been in exactly the same area, with the French military, Lebanon, Syria, Israel. We’d perhaps even been only yards apart at times.

And both of us knew that rare thing. We both knew and felt the lies so often told about the Middle East by our western governments and press, this ex-UN soldier, attached with his Finnish regiment, and I. He’d witnessed a Norwegian UN soldier, a woman, beaten up by Israelis when she had a flat tyre and was trying to flag a car down for help, though it was true she was in uniform and Israelis revile the UN – but her thumb up gesture was also a dire insult in Israel. I’d heard about it. We both saw or heard about many incidents.

We drunk our coffee, and we knew the lies.

“But still the dates grew in the trees, all year round,” he said, “and the olives too, until those crazy extremist  Jewish  settlers burnt all the olive groves.”

“That was, and still is terrible,” I said, “and never talked about.”

The cold crept in trough the open kitchen window. I shivered.

“When I was a child, all our winters were cold, full of snow,” he said, looking out the window with me, at the trees just starting to bud. “This year winter did not come properly but still the cold lingers.”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Maybe that is how it is now,” he said, “never really starting, or ever finished.”

lingering cold
flowering spring won’t be today
I miss absent palm trees

 

 

 

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

Carpe Diem Haiku – Gypsies

Before I post my haiku, or you read it, I’d be honoured if you just took a few minutes to watch this video of the guys – gypsy dancers I know from far back. If anyone thinks this is easy stuff, well, I think you might want to try it.  know exactly how hard it is, and remember one night with guitars, milk jugs, my bongo drum and an Australian with didgeridoo. A beautiful night but some of the toughest dancing ever to learn. But its the synchronicity also – just watch how it builds up, and you’ll go some way to understanding my love for the roma people, the gypsies. Worth every minute, this short video.

barefoot gypsy
dances her path before me
-a romany blessing

russian_gypsy_girl_20_by_dg2001-d2zvdjn

To finish off see how the music reaches deep in this gypsy home. These roma are quite light-skinned, and in my experience more so than the lovely bronze tone some friends had. Makes no difference of course, once a gypsy always a gypsy for many of the European population, who discriminate against roma people, the largest minority in Europe, in the crudest of ways.

 

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Naughty Sunday Haiku

I was challenged to write a haiku about this image. I therefore challenge all readers to do the same for Naughty Sunday… put your link in the blue critter!

tumblr_n3lncdo8pG1tw4ub0o1_500

her sharpness
of tongue and taste
draws my blood

 

Categories: Haiku | Tags: , , , | 16 Comments

Carpe Diem Haiku – Companionship

she shows me the way
and knows how to hold the reins
while letting me lead

 

PS Write a haibun for the Ligo Haibun Challenge here!

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

Carpe Diem Special Haiku, The Way of St. James

seek not
in the thunderous solitude
the answer lies within

tumblr_n2lqurj7El1relrdqo1_500

carpediem

Categories: Carpe Diem Haiku | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Friday Fictioneers: The Night Before The Morning That Will Not Be

image rochelle wisoff-fields

image rochelle wisoff-fields

In order to justify them killing you, you invent the crime. “I deserve to die,” you say to yourself. It doesn’t pay to get too religious on these occasions  —  the next thing you’ll be doing is repenting.

In our cells waiting to be shot we are a club with the same aim: to get out alive. Personally, I think of childhood. Maybe I should have played with dolls. Instead bullets will be my last medals.

If anyone finds this note; “I died a man.” That is, I fought till the end, and ran, blindfolded, hands tied behind my back, in my last faltering steps of freedom.

images

friday fictioneers 100 Word stories ¤ run so well by ms rochelle wisoff-fields

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , , | 18 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

Categories: Verse | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Somewhere (for wedrinkbecausewerepoets.com)

there’s a place
in my past
that I passed by
with a smile
when I should have stopped
and taken that turning

perhaps then I would not
have dropped
swatted like a fly
and instead I would have hovered above
like an eagle dressed as dove
pretended to care
for the welfare
of those with too much love

I would have worn fur coats
paid politicians to sit in my pockets
employed slaves
for my factories
and from my big fat car
I would always gaze afar
and learn to ignore
those polluted streets

but as I look back on that place
somewhere in the past
at a crossroads in my life
I’m still glad I chose me
even if they stole my dream, in those years in-between

For I still feel the taste of victory
despite it all
they never destroyed my home
never droned
me, never bombed in shock and awe
and instead just took my health
slowly
bit by bit
those criminal corporatist rich
and their itch
for more of what I do not have

And I’m still
alive

crossroads

wedrinkbecausewe’repoets

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

Friday Fictioneers – Teeth

Patterns.

“D-d-d don’t look like much to me,” had started ol’ Dawkins, but his job was to tether the mules.

“I’ll take a picture of the markings from above, and get a better idea,” said KZ, her white scarf fluttering across her face, disarming my thoughts.

“Tough flying through those mountains,” I replied.

“I do tough,” she said.

Her white scarf had flowed in the air stream as she flew over the high plateau in her prop plane.

She landed smoothly in the sand below us.

“So what are they?” I shouted down.

She motioned with her gloved hands.

“I think she’s sayin’ p-p-p-penis,” Dawkins stuttured.

“Probably ones that bite, knowing KZ!” I grinned aloud.

lengai_summit_from_crater-danny-bowman

Thanks very much to Rochelle! Pic this week by Danny Bowman. For Friday Fictioneers 100 word stories.

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , | 42 Comments

The View – Friday Fictioneers

hay-bales-sandra-c

”That’s a nice view you’ve got over the village, Count.”

”Indeed, Inspector. So what was the visit about again?” The Count arched an eyebrow of inquisition as he loomed forward behind him to better hear.

”The missing young village women,” the Inspector said turning sharply at the window to the sudden shadow.

”Ah yes, rather unfortunate affair, has somewhat punctured the village’s image as a location of private repose,” the Count said humbly, as he proffered a plate of dark cakes; ”biscuit?” he added.

”Why thank you, Count,” the Inspector said, ”chocolate?”

”Dried blood, actually,” replied the Count, absentmindedly.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

99 words, pic this week by Sandra Cook  ¤ un grand merci pour Rochelle!

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , | 23 Comments

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

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