1 July 2015

Help me name this poem

Help me title this poem. If I choose a title from among all the suggestions, my 3rd book of poems will carry that same name, duly credited. The book will be published by Canopic Publishing.

The Appalachian autumn of trees stretches out
to where the eye is unable to see, its mélange
of red and yellow the valley's cauldron of hearts
whose blood spatters into every adjacent field.
Two foals used to roam, there, but it’s empty
now, save for the forest's fundamental flame. Soon
the blanched ash of winter will overwhelm them,
and death over life will merely be momentary again.
A seed waits in the underlying soil, breathing in
and breathing out through the nose, wondering
if it will soon be time to take a glance outside
and look for the other seed. They had always
been together to graze and gallop up and down
these mountains. Far away, a colt with spread-out
arms lands on soil and looks around, says a name,
calls out once more, like his mother seeking him
when she thought he was lost at a parade in Knoxville.
He scratches the turf with his hoof and snorts.
Wind had taken him thus, in a seed, and flung him
away even as his girlfriend was burrowing a hole
in the soft grass of the mountain to hunker down.
Her head pokes out of the ash like a snowdrop,
her eyes searching. Behind a hillock where they
used to sit there is nothing. The naked boughs
embarrass her. Snow begins to brush her face.

15 March 2015

The blade

I saw history, and I ringed its nose, in a story
carried by altered lines I saw the end. Meanings
of night rend into this cloth again and again,
till we can fashion but nothing for our lives
save doeks and arm-bands we wear year in year out.
The blade makes a sound, before slashing waft
by individual waft at the silence of precise noise,
which is like a fact that no one can fathom—
but now, when I gaze at the sky and struggle
to hear it, and, even afterwards, as dawn lies
bleeding on the ground before the main house,
words form in the mouths of open graves, from
what it is graves see of the world when they awake.
We went from sons of relatives to here, hanging
onto lineages, from thread woven into us again
to these frayed strands of hope, to each promise
that on a rock is being broken. For I was born
by those felled in mid-sleep, those never afraid
to furnish some little hope, to re-enter shadows,
which in a million deaths will never have us.

14 February 2015

On a gare St-Lazare platform

The way she stood on that platform that morning
made me guess that she was approximately fifteen,
waiting for a train to pull in, her profound beauty
saying, while I stiffened and continued to stare
at her profile, that she would be a queen someday.
She knew too well how to absorb men's looks,
breathe their aura in, and salt the charge away
in breasts of her flesh and the valleys of her form.
The world is entering an era of great distress.
I thought she might be a fallen angel, standing there
taking our lust in, savouring it and hoarding it,
like some good-looking robot telephone sucking in
the electricity of men. Such kind of force can
destroy a world and break the matrices of its
unfortunate hearts. I wanted to know if the volts
of my thoughts had affected her. But I was late,
so I made haste upstairs, and also my connection.
But I'll never forget the atmosphere of danger
around life, on that platform of gare St-Lazare.

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

Other poems by this author on this blog: