PRESCRIPTION POEMS (MY WAY)

And now, the end (of National Poetry Month) is near
And so I face the final curtain (OK, not that final)
My friend(s), I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain

In the past month, I undertook a task of talking about the need to read poems regularly. I hope many of you who weren’t sure about your attitude to poetry and haven’t read much of it are catching up. Please note that it can seriously mess with your heart and brain and has an ability to alter moods, emotions and behaviors by changing your perceptions. If you notice signs of poetry cravings, and dependence, coupled with a loss of control over use, it means you have developed an addiction and (luckily) it’s probably too late to go back to the previous state. There’s no need to talk to your doctor or pharmacist though since this condition is permanent and with no known cure so far. As time goes by, you will find out that poetry overdose is one of the best things that has happened to you. The sooner you acknowledge you are chronically ill and start making the most of it, the better. I am an addict as well and you haven’t heard me complain, have you?

After talking about what poetry does to me and sharing some fabulous poets with you, I like to think I helped pass on a virus. I believe it has the power to open minds, and transform lives. It enables us to heal and grow. I wish that reading it became so second-nature to you that you forget to eat, and drink and that your heart skips a beat every time you do, like when we are in love. Mind you, if you get the urge to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night to read (or write) it, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re just trapped in love. For good. Welcome to the club.

Now, I would love to draw your attention to a couple of poets I love: astonishing Diana at Holistic Wayfarer: poems Age and losing you and prolific Lize Bard at Haiku out of Africa (picking one was way too hard so you’ll have to read all. I promise you’ll get hooked momentarily).

Let me finish with awe-inspiring Adrian Mitchell who btw often performed on mainstream national stages. He sang, whispered and shouted his poems in every place imaginable in a persistent attempt to persuade us to love our lives, our minds and bodies and fight against tyranny, oppression and exploitation. Mitchell ‘shifted English poetry from correctness and formality towards inclusiveness and political passion,’ as was written in his obituary. Like Blake, he believed that everything human was holy, and liked to think of himself as an optimist despite overwhelming negativity around us. He celebrated life as passionately as he attacked those who crushed it. Today I give you a serious peace monger and an instinctive democrat and two encouraging poems of his:

 

TO ALL IN THE SO-CALLED DEFENCE INDUSTRY

Arms trade workers, here’s an early warning
You might wake up tomorrow morning
And find that this is the glorious day
When all your jobs will just melt away
Because the people of the world are going to make sure
There’ll be no more, no more, no more war
So now’s the time to switch your occupation
From dealing in death and desolation
Don’t hang around now you’ve been told
The international murder trade’s about to fold
You won’t have to maim, you won’t have to kill,
You can use your brain and use your skill.
Peace needs workers of all kinds-
Make artificial limbs instead of landmines.
Tricycles instead of tridents,
Violins instead of violence,
Lifeboats, hospitals, medicine, drains,
Food and toys and buses and trains-
Come on, there’s plenty of work to be done
If we’re going to make peace for everyone.


 

HUMAN BEINGS

look at your hands
your beautiful useful hands
you’re not an ape
you’re not a parrot
you’re not a slow loris
or a smart missile
you’re human

not british
not american
not israeli
not palestinian
you’re human

not catholic
not protestant
not muslim
not hindu
you’re human

we all start human
we end up human
human first
human last
we’re human
or we’re nothing

nothing but bombs
and poison gas
nothing but guns
and torturers
nothing but slaves
of Greed and War
if we’re not human

look at your body
with its amazing systems
of nerve-wires and blood canals
think about your mind
which can think about itself
and the whole universe
look at your face
which can freeze into horror
or melt into love
look at all that life
all that beauty
you’re human
they are human
we are human
let’s try to be human

dance!

A RESPONSE POEM

I’m very sensitive to the injustices in the world and big guys bullying small ones. Some girls find it extra hot, but not this one. She needs to speak her mind although many wouldn’t like what she has to say. Oh well, she couldn’t care less because she has never liked going with the flow.


 

DINNER FOR THREE

best friends dining breakfast leftovers
British black pudding
American baked beans, bacon and fried eggs from
countryside farms
dipping French toast into the yolk
food gets stuck in the back of their throats
a tedious repetition of ménage à trois

spinning the globe with their mouths full of
half-chewed food and cursing
dangerous countries glaring at them
a question rising like a tidal wave
where to eat out (this time)
who to fuck afterwards
somewhere far off, someone exotic
yes, we like exotic
checking out the list of the top global threats
up next
S…S…S…Serbia, no, been there
S…S…Siberia…nope, S… Syria, why the hell not
we’re mad enough

mad about the super modern research center in Damascus
and well-equipped storage facilities west of Homs
researching and storing something
an offensive to retaliate against
the suspected mass production of fog and
begin a sustained effort to make
them stop using everything banned, breathing including

today’s targets are pita bread
sprinkled with sesame seeds, spicy
chickpea salad, garlic
and lemon hummus, falafels
with fresh coriander leaves
kebab served with Aleppo pepper and
cookies filled with dates and pistachios
Big Daddy makes it abundantly clear all must go
we eat first, and discuss later

dinner goes like a bomb
can’t think on a full stomach
the world is looking at the satellite images of before and after
something turned into nothing
who wants to fuck with us now

 

POETIC JUSTICE

There are problems that challenge our ingenuity. There are events that challenge our attention. There are people that challenge our beliefs. And then, there is art that challenges the imagination, touches the heart and engages the brain.

It started with a challenge set up by Brooke who dared Tom to upset the universe by inviting him to take part in a poetry game. Both earthquakes brought about by their poems resulted in damage of varying severity with violent shaking extending to far-off locations. The ground shaking is expected to cause landslides, and avalanches in days and weeks to come. The cup was then passed to Wulf whose poem was felt across great distances, apparently thousands of miles from the epicenter. The ground opened up and there were numerous instances of severe injuries after people had fallen into fiery pits. He then passed it to Susan whose poem led to a deadly quake, with a warning made only minutes before it struck, causing total destruction and most likely permanent changes in ground topography. The cup, one of the lucky few survivors, was passed to me yesterday evening. I’m still wondering how I made it.

I am honored beyond words to have been chosen to join this wonderfully unique tribe. I like big challenges and they rarely come much bigger than this. You set a high bar, my dear friends. Please take into account the fact that I was in junior high when I first attempted at writing poetry. Needless to say, this is when my endeavor to be something I was not ended.

Anyway, this is my first poem ever since. So, be gentle.

Let’s challenge the rapids together, my fellow rafters, shall me?


 

WHERE I’M FROM

I am from witches. I am from bitches
I am from demons. I am from ghosts
from cockroaches and from moths
from snakes and from dragons
from seraphims with flagons
I.AM.

I am from water and from flights
from eastern darkness and southern light
from northern distance and western might
from betrayals and from trusts.
I am from smiles and from frowns
from flaws and from scars
of perseverance and wishful thinking I am composed
I wish, I wish…
of non-perfection. I.AM.

Once upon a time, I was killed from the air.
Big Daddy’s whim.
An attack with a knack by someone with a flair for external decorating
someone who didn’t care about fellow Earthlings in a kingdom far far away
you’re not my masters nor the heirs to the throne of the world
you who blare up in the air, paired up with like-minded spirits. Beware, for
you’re just numbers for many out there. We shall all die one day.
Despair no more. We’re square.

I was stuck with a needle, I was tied to the bed
I lost my head (too much to mention)
aching, I said,
I need a med
I bled, I shrank, a shadow of my former self
oftentimes I fled (too much unsaid)…
Until one day I saw a flickering light ahead
and thought: ‘Drop dead!’
I’m off to get some French bread.

I’ve traveled afar, but
was out of range and out of reach
out of touch
away and apart, broken asunder, disjointed, disconnected, split in half, torn to shreds.
Touched by new friends. Strangers once. Skinheads for all I care.

I am from my son, from my women and my men,
from a profound silence, a profound chasm,
from profound sleep awoken
A profound thinker who renounced reason (sees no treason)
howling at the Moon. The rooster going cook-a-doodle-doo!
at the crack of dawn, ah bon?

I’ve dived to the ocean depths and aspired to great heights
I’ve touched the bottom
I’ve reached for the stars
I am not from here, I am not from there
I’ve seen paradise and been through hell.

I am from connections, separations
taking action to desperation
I am recollections. I am retrospections;
from equations to tax evasions
from elections, masturbation;
invaded, misdirected.
I am the stroke of a pendulum repeated in a back-and-forth motion.
A request I am
Redirected to a different department.
I am confessions over coffee
From a connection to an obsession
One Direction
One Conviction
A black Caucasian with a Persuasion. I.AM.I
who cries

Fuck colonialism, imperialism, absolutism, fascism, nationalism, radicalism, terrorism
Fuck racism, sexism, immoralism, determinism, egoism, ageism, heterosexism, classism, ethnocentrism, plagiarism, hypothyroidism and veganism
Fuck communism, fuck capitalism
Fuck ME baby, please fuck me! (Oh, fucking hell!)
Hail altruism, pacifism, humanitarianism, criticism, hedonism, onanism, conceptualism, if you will.
Atheism or deism? (If God were a DJ)

I am from sensibility to utter nonsense
from the utter limit, I utter a growl. I utter a ‘no.’
Utter bliss. I see an utter fool that is me.
Utterly in love with words. In love with the silence.
In love with the absence, in love with the presence.
In love with the Sun, over the moon.

I am yours but don’t fucking belong to you
I am myself, and you are too.


 

Aftershock…after aftershock…after aftershock. The ground is weak and giddy long after a sequence of strong earthquakes prompted by their poetry. So far, it has been shaken by an idealist, a visionary, a romantic, a philosopher, and a realist/wishful thinker.

It’s my turn now to pass the cup to the next poet. I spy with my little eye…..(I can feel seismic waves traveling through the Earth already)…

… a star-gazer.

Everyone’s a story, born, unfinished. What’s yours Tanya?