Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Tuesday Poem: "Quarantine" by Eavan Boland

In the worst hour of the worst season
    of the worst year of a whole people
a man set out from the workhouse with his wife.
He was walking—they were both walking—north.

She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up.
     He lifted her and put her on his back.
He walked like that west and west and north.
Until at nightfall under freezing stars they arrived.

In the morning they were both found dead.
    Of cold. Of hunger. Of the toxins of a whole history.
But her feet were held against his breastbone.
The last heat of his flesh was his last gift to her.

Let no love poem ever come to this threshold.
     There is no place here for the inexact
praise of the easy graces and sensuality of the body.
There is only time for this merciless inventory:

Their death together in the winter of 1847.
      Also what they suffered. How they lived.
And what there is between a man and woman.
And in which darkness it can best be proved.

by Eavan Boland

For more information about poet, Eavan Boland, see:

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Tuesday Poem: "Talk to Strangers" by Saul Williams


Nah, I wasn't raised at gunpoint
And I've read too many books
To distract me from the mirror
When unhappy with my looks
And I ain't got proper diction
For the makings of a thug
Though I grew up in the ghetto
And my niggas all sold drugs
And though that may validate me
For a spot on MTV
And get me all the airplay
That my bank account would need
I was hoping to invest in
A lesson that I learned
When I thought this fool would jump me
Just because it was my turn
I went to an open space
'Cause I knew he wouldn't do it
If somebody there should see him 
Or somebody else might prove it
And maybe in your mind
It may seem I got punched out
'Cause I walked a narrow path
And then went and changed my route
But that openness exposed me 
To a truth I couldn't find
In the clenched fist of my ego
Or the confines of my mind
Or the hipness of swagger
Or the swagger in my step
Or the scowl of my grimace 
Or the meanness of my rep
'Cause we represent a truth, son
That changes by the hour
And when you open to it
Vulnerability is power
And in that shifting form
You'll find a truth that doesn't change
And that truth's living proof 
Of the fact that God is strange
Talk to strangers when family fails
And friends lead you astray
When Buddha laughs and Jesus weeps
And it turns out God is gay
'Cause angels and messiahs
Love can come in many forms
In the hallways of your projects
Or the fat girl in your dorm
And when you finally take the time
To see what they're about
And perhaps you find them lonely
Or their wisdom trips you out
Maybe you'll find the cycle's end
You're back where you began
But come this time around
You'll have someone to hold your hand
Who prays for you, who's there for you
Who sends you love and light
Exposes you to parts of you
That you once tried to fight
And come this time around 
You'll choose to walk a different path
You'll embrace what you turned away
And cry at what you laughed
'Cause that's the only way 
We're gonna make it through this storm
Where ignorance is common sense
And senselessness the norm
And flags wave high above the truth
And the two never touch
And stolen goods are overpriced
And freedom costs too much
And no one seems to recognize
The symbols come to life
The bitten apple on the screen
And Jesus had a wife
And she was his messiah
Like that stranger may be yours
Who holds the subtle knife
That carves through worlds like magic doors
And that's what I've been looking for
The bridge from then to now
Was watching BET like
What the fuck, son? This is foul
But that square box don't represent
The sphere that we live in
The Earth is not a flat screen
I ain't trying to fit in
But this ain't for the underground
This here is for the sun
A seed a stranger gave to me
And planted on my tongue
And when I look at you
I know I'm not the only one
As a great man once said
There is nothing more powerful
Than an idea, whose time has come

by Saul Williams

For more information about poet, Saul Williams, see: