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Directionless Haiku

autumn destruction                                                                                                              senseless selfish bitterness                                                                                                             we have not advanced

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

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

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.

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

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

But If You’re Talking About Destruction You Can Count Me Out/In

”The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”

(Che Guevara)

‘Revolutionary’, in the image of the brutal if sincere Che, has a positive, romantic flair much in the same way as to ‘nurse’ something along is positive, and to ‘doctor’ it isn’t, inexplicably.

But nursing things along is not what revolutionising is all about, according to Che, and I dare say he knew. It is about short, sharp shocks. However, the problem with revolution’s revolutionaries is the penchant for reinstalling a ”past”, instead of wanting to take society a step forward. Granted, the laws of physics apply fully to politics: every action demands an equal reaction. How else could we explain Hitler, Pol Pot, Ayatollah Khomeini and Pinochet? How else could we explain the swing the Republicans took  in USA, that sees them now seeking to ‘moralise’ while calling for ‘less government’?

Revolutions can work long-term.  1776 is the classic, as was the French revolution, kind of, and the Haitian revolution against slavery in 1791 (though massive repayments to previous slave owners after the successful revolution permanently damaged the nascent Haiti’s prospects).

Maybe Che Guevera was an exception, but his masters, or minders in Moscow – whether he liked them around or not – were among the most conservative of all, and the Soviet revolution had long lost its way. But Che’s early writings show a doctor horrified by poverty in latin America and its blatant causes, for which the North American and European continent heartedly contributed to.

Tonight 409 years ago, a revolutionary at the other end of the evolutionary scale called Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the houses of parliament, in order to restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The 5th November has now accordingly become Guy Fawkes night in much of England, when British boys and girls blow their fingers off with fireworks instead. Hopefully not too many this year.

An effigy of Guy Fawkes, wheelbarrowed around streets by children mysteriously asking for ”a penny for the Guy” is followed by the tossing of the straw-filled figue onto a large bonfire in towns and villages nationwide.

The real Guy Fawkes fared little better, and was duly hung, drawn and quartered in the best tradition.

Guy Fawkes night needs to be expanded, to symbolically include all the fanatics and fundamentalists who have found their way through the woodwork, as worms do when the foundations are rattled. The trouble is that the foundations do need rattling. Strongly. Catch-22.

Categories: Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The Beatles ~ Tricks on their Album Covers

They helped define a generation, becoming almost recluses 2/3rds through the 60s, but still there in the albums they made. There are not many of us who understand the impact they had during those years without having been there. But The Beatles echoed into the 70s and even 80s, and are still played now.

What some have forgotten or some don’t know is that The Beatles played with us now and then. One of their most famous games, which they always denied, was the rumour that Paul McCartney had been killed in a car crash. Clues to his demise were left on some album covers and in some songs. Here’s some examples. The first one is perhaps the easiest, as it has been the most discussed – let’s see if you can find two clues that point to Paul McCartney’s disappearance, counting the clothes The Beatles are wearing as the first clue.

Regarding the clothes, the answer is that Paul McCartney is dressed as a corpse – barefoot, while John Lennon in front takes on the role of the preacher, Ringo Starr the man from the funeral parlour, and George Harrison, last, the grave digger. If you look hard you might see that part of the licence plate on the car behind reads 28IF = if Paul McCartney was alive he’d be 28 years old.

The next album cover is pretty transparent – with the black walrus, that is Paul apparently, according to the lyrics of Glass Onion (click below) ”We fooled you all, the walrus was Paul

Magical Mystery Tour is full of little hints and clues however, not least in the music. Photos of The Beatles include some with Paul McCartney with his shoes off again, and has one picture with ”I was” on a sign in front of him. He is the only one with a black rose in his lapel – the others have a red rose, and the only one with a bouquet flowers. There is also the Fool On The Hill picture with Paul’s head sliced in half, and a picture of doctors and the police who tried to ”save his life” in front of a large headstone. The Beatles’ drum features the words ”The 3 Beatles” inscribed, and if the starred logo on the cover is held against a mirror the large stars form a phone number – if connected, that when dialled connects to a funeral parlour in London.

On the Let It Be album cover, only one Beatle pictured has a blood red background: Paul.

The Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band has 3 main clues on the cover - can you see them? The first, yes, is the sad faces of the younger Beatles n the left, looking down at the ‘grave”, which has a letter ”P” in yellow flowers, also representing Paul’s base guitar; with 4 ‘strings’ and played left-handed.

In the middle page of the old album format Paul is seen with an OPD badge on his shoulder. OPD = Officially Pronounced Dead.

On the back cover he is the only one facing backwards, his head covering the ”Within You” part of Within You, Without You song.

 

On Blue Jay Way, one clearly hears ”Paul is buried” ”buried”  chanted in the 1st & 2nd verses as the refrain. Why did The Beatles set us up like that? We are less than likely to know…

 

 

Categories: Mysteries | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Friday Fictioneers ~ Igor’s Moment Of Gory Glory

“And now, ladies and gentlemen, my prize, something I designed, a likeness of one of my……previous…guests, here at my castle, by my own hands. Igor! The covering! Unveil it!”

“Uh, Count Dracula, sir, you’ll be wanting some rest, its getting early…”

“Igor! The cloth, pull! Oh I shall do it myself!”

A stunned silence from the Count meets the ripple of applause from selected guests.

“Igor! IGOR! Where is her flowing hair? How has your face been chiselled behind her like that?”

“I thought you might like it, Count, as a memento..me holding her head, ready for you to…”

“Igor! Shut-up, imbecile!”

””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

Click on the photo to go to Friday Fictioneers – 100 word stories

Thank you to Claire Fuller for the Sculpture and photo

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Friday Fictioneers ~ The Code

copyright-renee-homan-heath

Step by step.

A grand last view, if not grand last words: “Keep movin’ ye rat!” A shove in the back.

As if I’d stumble so easily!

And even shady palm trees. .

Step by step. T’wards my necklace of rope, and my ocean, looking suspiciously calm today.

No more maraudin’ when swingin’ from the gallows. No more saucy wenches, teasin’ me of my gains as I hang…

Ah, but I imagine by now you’ll be thinkin'; “what’s a dead man doing writing?”

Did you forget the pirate’s code, and really think the bushes were free of my crew?

…Tut tut…

~~~~~~~~~~~~

100 Words

Friday Fictioneers – welcome aboard!

Picture Renee Homan Heath

Categories: Flash Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , | 64 Comments

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