Posts tagged ‘2011’

Saturday, 14 January 2023

Highway by Malathi Maitri

Along the highways
of a refugee’s life
snapshots of childhood memories
hedges overspread with field bean
thick with honeybees,
a courtyard filled with goat droppings,
the shade of a portia-tree,
school children under a neem-tree,
a pond swarming with buffaloes
woods echoing with the koel’s song
the sea-shore where sea-birds call.

The highways carry us along
to yet other highways.


Date: 2011 (original in Tamil); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Malathi Maitri (1968- )

Translated by: Lakshmi Holmström (1935-2016)

Friday, 18 November 2022

Croak by Richard Reeve

The poet has lost his voice;
has lost it out of choice.
Wind, gavel and the snow,
just his voice had to go.
So, clattering about
on the town with a trout,
poet, already hoarse,
abandoned the course;
lost sight of old verses.

Became some other man
mumbling in the whorl
of professions, cities,
neglecting his curses
for fiduciary duties.
The thunder he might hurl
mellowed into a rusk.
Tired health with his girl,
the cellphone at dusk.

King Death will restore it.
Poet worrying the dark
for the old curses, words,
cannot now ignore it.
First faultingly, then stark,
a night-cry of birds,
voice repossesses him
at King Death’s whim.


Date: 2011

By: Richard Reeve (1976- )

Friday, 21 October 2022

Buffalo Gap by Lydia Whirlwind Soldier

For Grandpa Kangi Iyutaka, Homer Whirlwind Soldier, Sr.

memory has its own language
in frost-laced prairie grasses
in the mist that lifts from
each hollow shadow
in the rhythm of the wind
in the clouds stretched
across the width of the horizon

the tone of his voice changes
hurling through time
secretly mourning
we strain to hear
I see it all with fresh eyes
as he speaks

thundering hooves
mark their journey
turning into the sun
where eagles once soared
spirits of rock, tree and grass
greet those ghost-like
shaggy coats returning
ancient and enduring

they’ve found their way
black horns gleaming
in vibrant sunsets
howling wolves follow
through Buffalo Gap
through the hollow silence
they come, spilling over the plains
like cottonwood fluff
riding the wind
in the gray light of morning

Waziya departs
the nights grow shorter
and days longer
Itokaga returns
on yellow feathered wings
and sweet scent of sage
in the ebb and flow of
each season.

From: Howe, Craig; Whirlwind Soldier, Lydia; and Lee, Lanniko L. (eds.), He Sapa Woihanble: Black Hills Dream, 2011, Living Justice Press: St. Paul, Minnesota, pp. 33-34.

Date: 2011

By: Lydia Whirlwind Soldier (1942- )

Friday, 23 September 2022

Walls by Fide Erken

The World of complex ideas,
different faiths,
little tolerance,
mostly, lack of complaisance

Look at the flowers with every colour,
full of love, together
flowers have easily climbed over
all the walls!


Date: 2011

By: Fide Erken (1967- )

Thursday, 15 September 2022

Key West by Harvey Shapiro

At the corner of Simonton and Amelia
there is a small junkyard that is
as beautiful to me as the deep
blue sea stretching from here to Cuba.
It has an arching tree over it
and its shards of old cars, tractors,
boating gear shine in the tropic sun
but with an American splendor
like rolling waves of grain. How odd
to have been taught to respond to
junk by my culture, and with
a patriotic fervor, so that the colors
red, white, and blue blaze through the rust.


Date: 2011

By: Harvey Shapiro (1924-2013)

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Cat Lives by Taylor Graham (Judith Ann Taylor)

The old cat weighs no more than
teeth, claws, and purr, the bones inside.

A cat is a cat: lap comfort, or
too much togetherness, Egyptian god,
mummy demanding my mind.

Tonight “I want to tell you something
with my hands,” I say. She turns
to lick her flank, her thigh, what’s left

of fur after thirteen years together.
I could tabulate each vertebra

down her spine. She still knows how
to purr, as long as hands
think of pain as a flit against the pane,

a bird that flies. Teeth and purr,
feathers of bird-wings in flight, bones
inside. In her next life, in mine.


Date: 2011

By: Taylor Graham (Judith Ann Taylor) (1944- )

Sunday, 30 January 2022

War Poem by Yvonne Green

There are no heroic deaths in war,
if you round people up they cry like stuck pigs,
if you run with a bayonet you wet your pants
if you kill with a drone, computer games
make you crazy when your kids play them.

For evil not to triumph good people
need do nothing but advocate, negotiate, react,
be diplomatic, watchful, mindful.

They need to listen, hear,
answer not placate, resist not fight,
determine not dominate, be dutiful not expectant.
And ramparts will give way to borders,
wars will be averted before
they grow tired, seed poppies,
make mounds, cinders of macheted limbs,
empty boy’s bowels, girl’s wombs.


Date: 2011

By: Yvonne Green (1957- )

Sunday, 18 April 2021

[Even in Daylight] by Constance Campbell

even in daylight, these shadows find me


Date: 2011

By: Constance Campbell (19??- )

Monday, 26 October 2020

Mother Doesn’t Bite by Terese Svoboda

I bite instead and she needs salt,
a little more time on the grill.
Young men are coming,
they’ll want her.

Her head is an oyster
turned out of a shell.
She needs her rocks,
and wave after wave.

I’m riding this dream,
her claws position me, specimen
ready for the knife. But who
holds the light?

The young men laugh.
It’s a game, it’s fun, it’s everyday.
I run across the beach,
a toll at last tolling.

Gulls rise with her eyes,
They shriek, night
iced under their wings,
its salt falling.


Date: 2011

By: Terese Svoboda (1950- )

Friday, 21 August 2020

Seaside Canon, for Douglas Hofstadter by Julia Galef

The ocean was still.
In an empty sky, two gulls turned lazy arcs, and
their keening cries echoed
off the cliff and disappeared into the sea.
When the child, scrambling up the rocks, slipped
out of her parents’ reach,
they called to her. She was already
so high, but those distant peaks beyond —
they called to her. She was already
out of her parents’ reach
when the child, scrambling up the rocks, slipped
off the cliff and disappeared into the sea.
Their keening cries echoed
in an empty sky. Two gulls turned lazy arcs, and
the ocean was still.


Date: 2011

By: Julia Galef (1983- )