When we touch the sky
The flowers up there shine bright
And the petals fall
But if petals fall
Are they all just flowers still?
Or did our touch kill?
Our hands hold danger
Too soon is nature broken
When we touch the sky
It was a monument to her sadness
Something to remember her tears and gasps by
For when’s she’s gone
There’s naught left
Who can keep in mind her vivacious laughs?
Or her quiet courage?
Her delicate kindness and generosity?
But all you remember are her tears
And that’s all you want to remember
Not her complete self
Not even half
But a small inch
She may have cried loud tears
Tears that shook a nation
Unsettled a continent
Moved a king
Raised a thousand ships in protest
But they were just tears
In a moment of great sorrow
And shame even
And I doubt she wants to be remembered thus.
Not as the girl who tried, failed, tried, failed
Yet tried again and then finally succeeded in her own
But as the Girl Who Cried.
She is running
She doesn’t give a damn about the hot sun
Or the sweat on her forehead
So what if the temperature is stuck at a summer high?
That isn’t what she wants to be
But she hears the door slam behind her
They’re coming for her
“DON’T DRAG ME BACK THERE”
She wants to scream
But she can’t
Her mouth is burning
And the smoke she drinks with relish
Is now choking her
How could those little cigarettes betray her like this?
She loved them
Oh how she loved them
And here they are
She’s been here forever
Since the days long ago
When her mama caned her
And her papas beat her
When the wind was alive
And the water ran
When the skies were full of dark anger
And the ground so rebellious
That’s why she’s running
It’s all lost
The life she’s led
Where’s it all gone now?
A suicide in the family
And all hell breaks loose
You can’t down a few poppers in peace anymore
To drown out the noise
And the boredom
She can’t keep running much longer now
Oh she has space
The Plains go on forever
But she’s old and not
What she was twenty years ago
so carefully preserved for so long ,
Are cutting her viciously
At the ankles
And she falls to the ground
Lost, in a daze and the music stops.
her face was just a crack
a study in sorrow
once full of joy and heart
now sunken and depressed into itself
She wasn’t old
a creature of youth and great beauty was She
but such depth in Her eyes
and oceans of feeling in Her smiles
Her long fingers were graceful and elegant
and in their fragility hinted at Her core
about to shatter
but believe me when I say
She was strong
so many demons and evils did She face
and not one conquered Her
though each left a mark on Her
what do they say now?
no, wounds heal and scars remain
although for Her,
Her skin is still Her skin
Her face still Hers
not for Her a disfigured atrocity
yet you see the scars
like the permanent scorch of an intense fire
or the insidious slice of a sly knife
under layer and layer of…
She does not hide
She does not seclude herself
She is strong.
She is brave
She is weak
She is frightened
She is beautiful
yet so full of scars is She
She felt him.
She now felt periodic kicks and tugs inside. And they calmed her. Reassured her. It told her that the baby was still healthy.
What others would have bemoaned as pain and hurt from a tiresome little worrier, she welcomed.
But there were still days when the cold fear gripped her hard.
The day she lost control of her right hand frightened her so much that for weeks after it returned to normal she kept waking up in the middle of the night, checking and rechecking that it was unharmed.
The day her hair fell, she cried and cried and cried. She’d loved her hair. It was vain of her to do so. To attach so much to such a simplistic part of herself when many around her were dying in droves.
For the The Plague still continued its deadly rampage. Those who hadn’t succumbed to it had died of poverty and starvation. Shops closed, streets fell into disrepair all on their own for absolutely no visible reason.
It was quite perplexing to be honest. As if The Plague was sucking up the very lifeblood of the Earth. Not just affecting the people but nature too.
But today Elena was happy. Chris had finally gotten a new job. After months of doggedly searching and chasing, he’d landed a small position as a clerk at the District Council Building. The pay was poor and the hours long but it was better than nothing. And Philippa’s penny-a-week helped. Barely.
She sometimes hated herself. Elena. To be so helpless when everyone was working so hard. She was so unused to all this laying around and not doing anything. Hers weren’t the idle ways.
But she could not do much. Lifting an empty pail off the ground made her spine crackle like that of a wizened old now and by now, she’d realized.
Staying still and bored, she was in much less pain and of much less pain to others.
My poem I published elsewhere.
A seat on the bus is my solace
The road is a moving carpet
Moving me away from home
And I wish I could get off this ride
But this journey doesn’t end anytime soon
Just when you get accustomed
To the slow pull and push of the wheels
And the creaking seats
It jerks to a stop
Or turns down an unseen alley
And you wonder where you’ll end up
The signs pass me by
Each one a reminder of how much further
My home is getting to be
Yet the wind on my face smells of promises
And whispers of wishes
Where the skyscrapers trap you in a vortex
Of power and cold hard cash
And the people bustle in a mechanical staccato
The power strides, the cigarette ash and the taxi doors
Opening and shutting
Ever so exciting and frightening
It begs the question:
Would the city swallow me up and spit me right out?
Or accept me as indifferently
As a machine does a cog?
Yes the winds of change hits me in the face
Quite too literally
And the past tugs me hard
So that I know not which way to turn anymore.
Her feet slowly fall on the slabs
Cold, hard and unrelenting in their grey
She treads lightly
Afraid of making an impression
Or making anyone remember this moment
As the moment
She ran away
She should have faced the music
So abrasive and discordant
But music nonetheless
There was a rhythm to it
A hard vindictive beating
But her best just wasn’t good enough
The stories of courage she heard on the TV
were just stories
fairy tales of hope
But in the end all empty
So her footsteps fall slowly on the slabs
The light of the lamps betray her
Yearning for the dark she tiptoes
But the old wrought iron watchtowers
on the street corners
All point accusing beams of light at her
But what cause do they have
To accuse her of any misdeed
When she so clearly was the one
Stuck on the wrong end of the bed?
Your eyes, they’re…
My god it’s bright
A gentle burnishing
Run over your skin with a feather brush
And your touch is light
It threatens to pull me up too
Feet leave the ground
And all I can do is
Look at your face
And your eyes, they’re…
I don’t think I’ve ever seen
I don’t call it beauty
You’re not pretentious or fake
A light patter of snow or small
Is enough for you to smile
Who cares for glitter or glamour?
Let them have their star-studded mirrors
And their hollow diamonds
What we have is precious
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Or Heard
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