Thriller

This was born of an instagram challenge to write a zombie poem. I borrowed from John Landis’s and Michael Jackson’s Thriller to write this pandemic related adaptation, based in Manhattan NYC. It was posted on Instagram a while back and I’m adding it to the blog today. There is a backlog of a few more poems that will make it here from Instagram.

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It’s close to midnight
Something evil’s lurkin’ in the dark
Good ol’ Time flees Times Square,
kicking, while he does, pylons for a lark

And under the moonlight
squinting through towers scraping skies,
you see within, a dismal sight
that grinds your heart to halt and sigh.

It’s the homeless ogling
at the screaming, the flailing, the freezing
zombies, so despairing the burgh now
in a timeless graveyard shift,
building the empire of cards,
that never quite slept anyhow.

Creatures crawl in search of blood,
like days when the hood was hit hard.
Now the dead and the undead alike,
seek consummation in your every cell,
to contort them into a cellular pike
and trigger phantasmal thrillers of hell .

And no one’s gonna save you,
from the beast about to strike,
no vitamin, no mineral, no endorphin spike.
There ain’t no second chance
against the thing with the forty eyes, girl,
or one with twenty nine thousand nucleotides girl.
And you are scared that they will possess you
unless you change that number on your dial
from demon lover to ambulance now, to 911, girl !

The dead start to walk in their masquerade
such deathly pallor in this utopian Hades
of deceased streets and lonesome avenues.
There’s no escaping the greys, the blues
or the matrix of this alien crown
in protein spikes,membrane down,
RNA whipped out for arsenal
or a solemn dirge at the funeral.
And whosoever shall be found,
without the soul for getting down,
must stand and face the hounds of hell
and rot inside a corpse’s shell.
-The end –

Ah yes …
Evil cackle ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

Herd instinct, deity bound

There’s a distinctive communality in the ways women congregate to prayer. Women also tend to be more tethered to religion and matters of faith.. In fact, in 2016, the Pew Research Center analyzed international census and survey data of 84 countries to discover that women were generally more religious than men although the pattern could vary by religious tradition. For instance, among Muslims and Orthodox Jews, men were more likely to attend worship services. Women, they found, were also more likely to be affiliated with religious organizations, prayed more and said religion was very important in their lives.

This poem was inspired from an earlier time in my life and a time nearer too.

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I pondered always / the need for women that wore alone / the evening mist of snaking village roads / to huddle close around a litany / as they strung their rosaries / in the togetherness of fiery prayers / demanding that God listen to their crocheted voices/ afraid they were, it seemed / of the weak skein of a solitary supplication //

The village priest was afraid / of this strange moan wafting through the plantains / felling vagrant jackfruit to the earth / startling the bats in the empty church / where he could no longer arbitrate their bleeding faith / their feminine hysterics at midlife / the invisibility of their wizened hair / bereft now that their children had flown the nest//

Their prayers were mournful pleadings / while his sermons were sharp admonitions / his protocols rigid / their ritual mechanics, fluid like the gushing river / but in the pews they fell silent / urged to repeat the liturgy / creatures of habit / So the times they could huddle together / they did / like a bunch of wounded bougainvillea / stained red in the afternoon sun //

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I have observed that women gathering in prayer groups within smaller communities place quite the challenge to organized faith and religion.

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Reference~https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/03/22/women-generally-are-more-religious-than-men-but-not-everywhere/

My niece painted love in soft shades of knowing

It’s the 8th of March and I feel a deep happiness for the women in my life that I love. Today, it’s about a little woman, my niece.

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My niece spoke of love / a little person who said she loves her grandma and her grandpa / How does one know of love at two going on three / And the flourish with which her words / painted the air around her a rainbow / a brush stroke of ” I love them ” / made me see colours of hope for decades not yet drawn / that people will still program poems to love / like they journal the wind they cannot see, in formulae of physics / but her biology was a soft shade of knowing / as her lips trembled to say / what her heart felt.

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Watching her say that she wants to see her grandparents, who live abroad, because she loves them, was the highlight of my day. It made me wonder about her concept of love, as she wasn’t prompted to say this. It just spilled out of her, this beautiful feeling. ❤️

The boundless is love

We steal the glow from a warm sun
and the breath from the wind.
The animals overrun the Savanna
and we, the cities of glass and steel,
but we never lack for light nor a gentle breeze.

A strange synchronicity fills poems.
You see, cut in the same cloth are we,
beings across the Atlantic or the Pacific.
We all enter naked and exhale life in death,
our songs of exile sing of homes
we lost in the love of people like us.

Love seeks expression.
Like as aging tree, we seek to fill the space
lay down roots, brighten the sky with leaves
blossom in happiness, fruit in fulfillment
but this is life, not love.

Love does not leaf nor flower, it seeks no
rooting in place. A barren tree isn’t loveless
Have you ever wondered why water simply
is or the earth exists or the sun burns?
They all do because they are,
because they can.
This is love and it is boundless

Love is six tea lights at a crimson dinner

Six tea lights and a nightingale / wrap the table in love’s sonorous luminance /

A throaty pathos she sings, of fleeting sensations / of long kisses that escape her/ a rose juice, God waters the way of her lover / as she remains the afternoon of her oath /

Her dress drips in raspberry affections / while an echo of my voice bathes dinner in a crimson glow of atonement /

Six votives petulantly spill stains / yellow light assertions of the unchangeable / flickering in passion /

Is love the sublime that rests in the shadows somewhere /
Hemmed onto a languorous song, an eternal abundance / in lyrical heartache, wafts / over mortal substitutes of a hearty dinner /

We of the world raise a toast / to the lunacy of a New Year in celebratory meals /
This month, a marker of Oxen / yoked to a duet of affections / on the day canonized by love / as aged as the oldest love song / etched onto a Sumerian tablet / lost in translation /

What is love / but that which ploughs around in these poetic spaces / steadfast
as candles, shedding light //

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Happy Valentine’s Day !

We ushered it in last night in a Sichuan inspired dinner with friends, while celebrating our own version of the Chinese New Year as well. The year of the Ox, a day dedicated to love, hence the reference to Ancient Sumer, wherein originated the oldest love poem ever recorded, ‘The Love Song for Shu-Sin’ (written c.2000 BCE).

The smart lights above the table echoed the crimson shade. it’s so beautiful that candle light burns yellow even if all around is a crimson glow.

Love feels like the magic of light around the practicality of dinner. Food is always romantic, (being the way to the heart and all). Love songs abound in tales of heartbreak which brings me to this Mexican song, ‘La Fugitiva’. For those who love the beauty of the sonorous voice of Lila Downs, you must watch/listen to this duet of hers with singer, composer, Natalia Lafourcade. This song itself is love, if a song could even be called that. I wove a bit of the translation into my own poem when the artists sing of fleeting love kisses that escape like rose water that God throws towards a lover.

I also wove in the theme of a ‘duet’ in the duo of oxen at a plough in response to a Sunday prompt by @bloodmoonjournal about ‘duet’, songs of love. Somehow all the themes that inspired me, congealed together. (I am inspired by a lot usually 😄)


On the year of the Ox, the balbale of Inanna to her brother Utu

In other compositions from that period, there are a few that recount poetic dialogue (balbale) between the Goddess Inanna and her brother, about love, desire, reason and practicality. This Mesopotamian Goddess is torn between the love she feels for a farmer and the Shepherd Dumuzi she must eventually marry. It is the year of the Ox in any case, perhaps the year of the farmer, the man at the plough, and in those parts of the world where farmers have been engaged in a prolonged battle, let’s hope it’s a winning one unlike Inanna’s balbale to her brother Utu . These beautiful compositions can easily be sourced online and I have added a few links for reference.

Further reading:

Diane Wolkstein’s translation of Queen of Heaven and Earth, ‘Her Stories and Hymns of Sumer’, full text [Harper & Row 1983], 30-49)

-https://archive.org/stream/input-compressed-2015mar28a29/done-compressed-2015mar28a29_djvu.txt

The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi
(D. Wolkenstein, Inanna [Harper & Row 1983], 30-49

-https://web.ics.purdue.edu/~kdickson/inanna.html

The love song of Shu-sin
-http://www.thehypertexts.com/The%20Love%20Song%20of%20Shu-Sin%20The%20Oldest%20Love%20Poem.htm

La Fugitiva, (Audio, Lyrics, Translation)
-https://g.co/kgs/fCg1fg

Criss cross through 2021, journaling crucifixes

A new journal begging to assimilate
moments passing/ stretched to hours of
unseen friends, unspoken thoughts, eyes/
the unsmiling but we all shop together now/
pixellated faces lips cheeks, two dimensions/
voicing through time, virtual, start to finish/
criss cross criss cross criss cross criss cross/
the to do list of much ado about much to do/
Add length to criss cross, vertical, dash … /
There, the Nazarene’s crucifix embedded/
on the Golgotha of acrid pages/criss crossing
away the norm of current times/ stationing
through January, then thursdays, fridays/
into February and then a similitude of days/
in the fourth week of March when I should/
look out the window and onto the seasons/
to recognize finally the colour of time/
criss crossing itself/ in erupting
blades of grass, emergent sprigs/
I will then journal no more crucifixes.