Posts tagged ‘2017’

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Hurriedly, in Premature Celebration by Timur Kibirov

The roses bloom! Oh this is Paradise!
And we shall see the infant Christ!
– Andersen, ‘The Snow Queen’

Hurriedly, in premature celebration,
the little boy bursts again from the crowd
and says, once more: ‘But the king isn’t wearing…’

then he clams up,
as he sees
that not only the king,
but all his retinue

(the ministers, Life Guards, ladies-in-waiting,
even the two con-men tailors themselves…)

are all naked!
All of them literally
in their birthday suits!

He spins in confusion
back to the gathered crowd
and beholds only naked bodies,
the denuded
woeful flesh of humanity.

And now, confused and fearful,
he senses his own naked,
goose-fleshed, bluish,
little boy’s skin,

and sees leafless trees in the distance,
sees how the forest has been stripped,
how the fields are bare,
how the naked earth is a desert

and winter is on its way…

Now who, who will wrap us up warm,
us, who have been stripped of everything?
Who, who will protect us,
the little naked soldiers
of a naked king?

For our leader is bare,
and his queen is the snow queen;
darkness and impenetrable snow!
And as for standing against him:
ay, ay, ay!

Oh dear. Oh wow.
Go and lie in the snow.

Make your mind up,
silly little Kay.

Run along now,
stupid little Gerda.

There, ahead of you:
the kingdom of death.

There, behind you:
the roses are blooming.

Well, maybe they’re not…
Maybe they’ve withered…
So what?

You’ll find out soon enough.
If you can get that far.


Date: 2009 (original in Russian); 2017 (translation in English)

By: Timur Kibirov (1955- )

Translated by: James Womack (1979- )

Sunday, 14 August 2022

When You Meet Someone in Deep Grief by Patricia McKernon Runkle

Slip off your shoes
and set them by the door

Enter barefoot,
this darkened chapel

hollowed by loss,
hallowed by sorrow.

its grey stone walls
and floor

You, congregation
of one

Are here to listen,
not to sing.

Kneel in the back pew,
make no sound,

let the candles

From: Runkle, Patricia McKernon, Grief’s Compass: Walking the Wilderness with Emily Dickinson, 2017, Apprentice House: Maryland.

Date: 2017

By: Patricia McKernon Runkle (19??- )

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Ghost by Cathy Linh Che

Family seemed penitentiary
& I wanted to be free.
I remembered the voice
echoing down the halls
and went running. Away from
Your face was a mirror
I couldn’t bear to see.
I risked losing myself
in the wilderness of a life
of another’s choosing.
The analogs broke down.
The spaces played like song.
The wildness I couldn’t
conquer. There I hid,
in my own body,
the gem of the self
lodged inside the self.


Date: 2017

By: Cathy Linh Che (19??- )

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

When we got to the beach by Hollie McNish

i screamed
sprinted to the sea
flung off shoes and socks
ran towards imagined heaving waves
and jumped each tiny trickle that I found there
with just the same excitement

you stayed back
took your socks off more timidly
giggled at your stupid mother
eventually took my hand

we jumped together
and we jumped together
and we jumped together

three hours later
collapsing on our backs
we made angels in the sand

the seaside always made me
want to scream

with you
i can.


Date: 2017

By: Hollie McNish (1983- )

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Mortalities Memorandum by Kate Lilley

For her to die like that nobody there
not screaming for morphine in the ICU
Help! Help! Come here! Rub my feet!
A good death is humble noble lonely
cancer is lonely writing is lonely
Get it out on the airwaves the evening news
the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald
Name a prize after her call it the sad and lonely prize

I’ll never get over (not) having you as my mother
all the elegies in the world their beauties and occasions
compensate decompensate
dewey decimal dewy-eyed
I’ll take whatever’s going
An acre on Uranus seems like a bargain a future.


Date: 2017

By: Kate Lilley (1960- )

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Poem With a Backbone In It by Donelle Dreese

I want to celebrate the person who says
what everyone else is thinking

the person who knows thoughts are not Gregorian chants
or mint leaves sweetened with lime frost

even if it strikes the piñata of polite conversation
until truth hailstones to the floor

even if it sounds like crows flapping their wings
inside the hollow of a bell tower.

I want to celebrate the person who pours water
over tombstones so the souls of the dead are not thirsty

the person whose mind tracks the natural curve of the spine
anything else is artifice or disease
a scoliosis of the brain.


Date: 2017

By: Donelle Dreese (1968- )

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Aemilianus the Moor by Evan Jones

There is nothing in the letters
Aemilianus sent to the Senate
of his childhood in North Africa.
Nothing of the goats bleating
or his mother’s affection.
He wrote that he would ‘assert
the glory of Rome, and deliver
the empire from all barbarians
of the North and of the East’;
he declared himself a general,
where the Senate knew the people best.
His reign was short, his ideals never tasked.
He stepped out of his tent one night
woken by what he thought were goats
and his soldiers sacrificed him.


Date: 2017

By: Evan Jones (19??- )

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Grenfell by Olga Dermott-Bond

We are throwing our children
out of windows.
Knotted bedsheets are falling
and we are
wrapped in choking blankets
high in this tower—
before this moment
muffled important men
ticked each blind box
sat on their cold hands
covered their ears
kept their distance
reclined in chairs the colour
of expensive coffee
climbed inside airy committees
insulated themselves in
someone else’s bureaucracy
flimsy as the lids on their drinks
that they abandoned
after the meetings
on budget cuts
leaving us groping
in the darkness of these thin-
lipped walls
and now the stairs are
crumbling coals
and we are faltering
on the edge
of these burning cliffs
that we wanted to call home.
We are throwing our children
out of windows
feeling for the last time
those hot desperate hands
that first cradled our little fingers
as their own
starry universe.
We are pulling them
from our sobbing
necks and reaching as far out
from the molten frames
as we can
our arms stretched taut and flat as a fledging’s neck
trembling with our most precious selves
who are falling
so suddenly
as we are letting them go
into the darkness
ripping our histories
in two.
We are fighting every instinct
and crying to strangers to
catch them
catch them
catch them
We are praying
that someone
will one day love them
as we are loving them.
We are throwing our children
out of windows.
Before this moment
muffled important men—
but perhaps now
it will be harder to
ignore the messages
written tomorrow morning
in the curled ashes
at their feet.


Date: 2017

By: Olga Dermott-Bond (19??- )

Friday, 24 September 2021

Mad in the Morning by Gōzō Yoshimasu

I shout the first line of my poem
I write the first line
A carving knife stands up madly in the morning
These are my rights!

The glow of morning or a woman’s breasts are not always beautiful
Beauty is not always first
All music is a lie!
Ah! First of all, let’s close all the petals and fall down to the earth!

This morning, September 24, 1966
I wrote a letter to my dearest friend
About original sin
About the perfect crime and the method of destroying intelligence

What a drop of water rolling on my pale pink palm!
The woman’s breasts are reflected in a coffee saucer!
Oh! I can’t fall down!
Though I ran rapidly over the edge of the sword, the world has not disappeared!


Date: 1966 (original in Japanese); 2017 (translation in English)

By: Gōzō Yoshimasu (1939- )

Translated by: Y Yoshida (24 September 2021)

Sunday, 29 August 2021

The Navigators by Eleanor Margaret Bradstock

There are many seas, organ-pipe rocks.
Sometimes we drift for months, and wake
to the dog-watch of night,
on our lips the bitter taste of land.

Our anchored ship
perched on the ocean’s skin,
we hear the hull’s creak, keening
of the lines, fancy we hear voices
through the thunder of waves
knowing they’re the cries of sea-birds,
the boom and boom of breakers upon rock.

Cloudlands rise from the mist
saw-toothed peaks emptied into the sky
vanishing as we approach
the sun’s glare, a shifting sea
with nothing at its centre, the motion
of a rocking island.


Date: 2017

By: Eleanor Margaret Bradstock (1942- )