18 January 2015

Fire

Quiet is the fire of design,
whose heart burns slowly,
and makes with its fingers
short work of the struggle
in a man; quiet the flame of time
that knows no end, but turns
thorn to tinder, when night
arrives, and you descend
the stairs leg-anthered,
corolla-dressed, foot before
other foot, as a panther
walks down a staircase
on its paws: quiet the world
it moves in. Night waits for
what was born a confidence
which the vow of man among
dead and battered faiths
on the battlefield shall meet,
as at the base of your stairs
we look up, lissom-necked,
for a means to have this life
inserted into today, but also
into another night again.
My lion head which is heavy
with remorse, walks down
a zone to the life of death.

2 January 2015

Miss Ann, when Mary Say She Making Baby

You? Making a baby? Mary child,
don’t make joke! It don't have no way
that you could manage that! You don't leave

out this house if you don't go with me –
least not since you betrothed.
I make sure you stay far

from any man saving for your Pa, and of course
your intended, Joseph. Beg you, girl,
careful, careful with what you saying.

People here take these things
and make life and death rule that Jah self
would not lay down for one living soul!

Give them a quarter chance
and them run to establish a next penalty.
Is a barbarous lot that worship

harsh decree, the vile work of them wits,
like Israel did bow down to the gold calf of Baal
that them build with them very own hand.

Them love punishment of the most wickedest kind.
Mary, child, you sure-sure when you tell
me this madness you in your right mind?

~Pamela Mordecai
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Other poems by this author on this blog:

31 December 2014

Preparing the body

He is dead; in Oort, the gods know.
As the news leaves press rooms
eels from the bottom of the Aegean sea
ribbon to the surface to wave goodbye;
we smear his body with Zambuk
and wash the rotted parts with milk,
parts that are known as the devil's cut.
His wife washes between the legs
then returns after, to put the legs straight
again, before the thigh muscles stiffen.
This is why a man must die before his wife.
At the edge of the open grave I'll pretend
to be a man, and proceed to find a stone
to spit on, then throw into the hole.
This is how a man accompanies relatives
on the journey out of life. People look
around with downcast faces, longing
for a different chemistry of sleep.

Where have you gone

Where have you gone
with your confident
walk with
your crooked smile

why did you leave me
when you took your
laughter
and departed
are you aware that
with you
went the sun
all light
and what few stars
there were?

Where have you gone
with your confident
walk your
crooked smile the
rent money
in one pocket and
my heart
in another . . .
© Mari Evans