Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Rain— Birdoswald" by Frances Horovitz

    I stand under a leafless tree
more still, in this mouse-pattering

    thrum of rain,

than cattle shifting in the field.

    It is more dark than light.

A Chinese painter's brush of deepening grey 

    moves in a subtle tide.

    The beasts are darker islands now. 

Wet-stained and silvered by the rain 

    they suffer night,

marooned as still as stone or tree.

    We sense each other's quiet.

    Almost, death could come 

inevitable, unstrange

    as is this dusk and rain, 

and I should be no more 

    myself, than raindrops

glimmering in last light

    on black ash buds

or night beasts in a winter field.

by Frances Horovitz

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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Tuesday Poem: "The Tropics in New York" by Claude McKay

Bananas ripe and green, and ginger-root,
      Cocoa in pods and alligator pears,

And tangerines and mangoes and grape fruit,

      Fit for the highest prize at parish fairs,

Set in the window, bringing memories

      Of fruit-trees laden by low-singing rills,

And dewy dawns, and mystical blue skies

      In benediction over nun-like hills.

My eyes grew dim, and I could no more gaze;

      A wave of longing through my body swept,

And, hungry for the old, familiar ways,

      I turned aside and bowed my head and wept.

by Claude McKay

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Interview" by Dorothy Parker

The ladies men admire, I’ve heard,
Would shudder at a wicked word.

Their candle gives a single light;

They’d rather stay at home at night.

They do not keep awake till three,

Nor read erotic poetry.

They never sanction the impure,

Nor recognize an overture.

They shrink from powders and from paints ...

So far, I’ve had no complaints.

by Dorothy Parker

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Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Tuesday Poem: "I hope to God you will not ask" by Esther Belin

I hope to God you will not ask me to go anywhere except my own country. If we go back, we will follow whatever orders you give us. We do not want to go right or left, but straight back to our own land.

I hope to God you will not ask

Me or my People to send

Postcard greetings: lamented wind

Of perfect sunrisings, golden

Yes, we may share the same sun setting

But the in-between hours are hollow

The People fill the void with prayers for help

Calling upon the Holy Ones

Those petitions penetrate and loosen

The binds you tried to tighten

Around our heart, a tension

Blocking the wind, like a shell

Fluttering inside, fluttering inside

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Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Tuesday Poem: "We, Made of Bone" by Mahtem Shiferraw

These days, I refuse to let you see me
the way I see myself.

I wake up in the morning not knowing
whether I will make it through the day;

reminding myself of the small, small things
I’ve forgotten to marvel in;

these trees, blood-free and bone-dry
have come to rescue me more than once,

but my saving often requires hiding
yet they stand so tall, so slim and gluttonous

refusing to contain me; even baobab trees
will split open at my command, and

carve out fleshless wombs to welcome me.
I must fall out of love of the world

without me in it, but my loves have
long gone, and left me in a foreign land

where once I was made of bone,
now water, now nothing.

by  Mahtem Shiferraw

(Photo Credit: Mahtem Shiferraw)

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