Winter Solstice, “Three Trees at Solstice”, Mary Finn

Three Trees at Solstice

Comes with autumn the spent moment,
When, polarized to stillness,
The soul thereafter waits on death
As oaks on winter
As oaks by winter water.
So stands the sun for springing and failing time;
And a life ending is less than a stream failing
Until, sunk deep in a white meander —
Black clouds come down like swans at brood,
And flows again the white water.

The silver tree of the stream
Fails not for the sea,
Nor for the thirst-hewn rocks of the valley;
But fails the red, bright tree
In each man’s breast—
Drooping to winter’s rest;
Fails the yellow tree
Of each day’s light—
Fails from sight,
Fails in the west.

Mary Finnin

A Book of Australian Verse edited by Judith Wright

Najam Hosain Syed: Night a Burning Oven. Muslim poetry about desire and the body!

Night a Burning Oven

Throw your hand in and place the dough
Many were cooked over flat pans
Eyes were singed lighting damp wood
Now wear the coal of this heat in your eyes
Raise your arms and dance in it
Red wheat has sprouted during the course of time Night a burning oven
Throw your hand in and place the dough
Lay your virtues on the table
Serve yourself and feed yourself
Who knows when the day will rise, how it will rise
Whoever beheld the daybreak
Will not return to tell

Translated by Zubair Ahmad and Fauzia Rafiq

Click to access 13.1.2_Ahmad.pdf

“Najm Hosain Syed is the most significant Punjabi writer of post-Partition West Punjabi literature. He was born in 1936 in Batala eastern Punjab. After Partition in 1947, his family had to move to Lahore in Pakistan. He did his masters in English literature from Punjab University and joined Pakistan civil service and retired as Accountant General of Punjab.

He founded the Punjabi Sangat -literary study group- and the Majlis Shah Hussain -a publishing venture- in the early 1970s. During the time he also headed the post-graduate Department of Punjabi in Punjab University. He has authored more than 30 books of poetry, plays and creative non-fiction. “

Surinam poetry. Poezie gedichten geluid uit Suriname!! (Latin-America)

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 10.52.07 PM
Galibi beach, Surinam.

A tree, hosts of sparrows
and amongst them
one other bird.

Een boom vol mussen
en daartussen
een andere vogel.

Geerdi, 9 jaar.

Coconut palm
under the flowing wind […]

onder de vloeiende wind

Michaël Slory
[uit: Waar wordt de lucht gemolken?, 2004]

Sranan tongo:
“Orfeu negro”
Mi sa singi a son opo kon

I will sing
the sun
to rise

With the stars washed away
from the sky
I will sing
in clouds of orange,
Flecked loin cloths of redblue,
Black, that can’t keep itself standing

When my sun arrives
A yellow message
For all who still lay in their camps
for all who are blind with sleep…

I shall sing
The sun

From out of the water
That is so endlessly broad
Until you come outside
To listen
To the message that from my heart
Bursts out
A few droplets of the morning sun.

Ik zal zingen
de zon rijst
komt te voorschijn

Wanneer de sterren weggewassen zijn
Uit de lucht
Ik zal zingen
In wolken van oranje,
Bespikkelde lendendoeken van roodblauw,
Zwart, dat zich niet langer kan staande houden

Wanneer mijn zon aankomt
Een gele boodschap
Voor allen die nog in hun kampen liggen
Voor allen die blind zijn van slaap…

Ik zal zingen
Om de zon
Te laten opkomen

Vanuit het water
Dat zo eindeloos breed is
Totdat jullie naar buiten komen
Om te luisteren
Naar het bericht dat vanuit mijn hart
Naar buiten breekt
Enkele druppels van de morgenzon

Sranan tongo:
Mi sa singi
A son
Opo kon,

Te den stari wasi komoto
Na loktu
Mi sa singi
Alanya worku,
Penipeni pangi fu rediblaw
Blaka, di no man ori ensrefi
Te mi son e kon
Wan geri boskopu
Fu ala di didon ete na ini den kanpu
Fu ala di e sribi breni..

Mi sa singi
A son
Opo kon,

Fu ondro a watra
Di bradi sote
Te un opo kon na doro
Fu arki
A nyunsu di mi ati
E lusu
Wanwan dropu fu mamanten son

Michael Slory [1935]

Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago! Cold war. James Bond.

It Was A Weird Wall

It was a weird wall
Like the Mobius strip,
it had only one side,
the other one was unseen:
the far side of the Moon.
But some people would race
against bullets, to rip
the barbed finish tape
with their chests, to give
a push to the wrecking ball:
the pendulum of the invisible clock.

Under 11/09/89,
my diary says:
“Natasha lost a front tooth,
Liza for the first time
stood up in her crib
on her own.”

~Vera Pavlova, the author of the If There is Something to Desire. This poem was translated by Seven Seymour from the Russian.

The Missing Language

the cold days are counted up
the snow has stopped
and turned
into snow made of paper

I should finish
writing this story
but inside my head
is a snail
in its shell

its been sleeping there all winter
and hasn’t shown

maybe it’s dead by now

~Zafer Senocak, the author of Door Languages. This poem was translated by Elizabeth Oehlikers Wright from the German

We Have It All Now

We have it all now, dear Frau Schubert. The
borders’ invisible stitch. Impeccably tailored
fields. Close-cropped towns. A genetic crisis.
In the greenhouse, where I’m resting after
growing a novel, Newton’s orange ripens.

~Ewa Lipska, the author of The New Century and Pet Shops. This poem was translated by Barbara Bogoczek and Tony Howard from the Polish.


Berlin Wall Peddlers

History on sale
One chunk for only twenty dollars

Look at this one
it’s full of bullet holes
this one is stained with deserters’ blood
and see these two dark holes
they were burned by an anxious gaze
the remains of cold war on this one
still make you tremble
and what we have here
are the dancing footprints of the youth
and the shouting and clapping
when a heavy chain tore it down

~William Marr was an engineer by profession, working nearly thirty years at the Argonne National Laboratory. He now devotes himself to creating poetry and art.


The Berlin Wall

It was the day after,
John Kennedy had
uncharacteristically loud,
shouted the unforgettable
and oft misquoted words
‘Ich bin ein Berliner’,
words that echoed back
from the remnants of
a wall that had been built
with capitalist materials
and communist anger.

Gorbatschov sat
in the Sauna of his datscha,
partaking liberally of
near-frozen Vodka, pure,
while sweating in the name
of the people and humanity.

The loudspeaker crackled to life,
and the hiss of the water Aufguss
could not drown them out,
these historical doves, so rare.

Later, when the actor turned prez
threw down the gauntlet, loudly,
with the flushed cheeks of anger
and righteous indignation,
‘Mr. Gorbatschov, tear down this wall’,
the entire world applauded,
though some did not mean it at all.
But I do think that the wall was torn
down in its entirety, that day in the Sauna.

~Dr. Herbert Nehrlich


Lula Lowe Weeden- Black Poet full of surprises and twists!

Do you know of the poet Lula Lowe Weeden? She is amazing and has these surprises in her poems!

“Robin Red Breast”

Little Robin red breast,
I hear you sing your song.
I would love to have you put it into my little cage,
Into my little mouth.


Down at the hall at midnight sometimes,
You hear them singing rhymes.
These girls are dancing with boys.
They are too big for toys.

From “Caroling Dusk: an Anthology of Verse by Black Poets.” Edited by Countee Cullen.


Chickens III: Eating Fried Chicken! Linh Dinh-yesyesyes!

Eating Fried Chicken


I hate to admit this, brother, but there are times
When I’m eating fried chicken
When I think about nothing else but eating fried chicken,
When I utterly forget about my family, honor and country,
The various blood debts you owe me,
My past humiliations and my future crimes—
Everything, in short, but the crispy skin on my fried chicken.
But I’m not altogether evil, there are also times
When I will refuse to lick or swallow anything
That’s not generally available to mankind.
(Which is, when you think about it, absolutely nothing at all.)
And no doubt that’s why apples can cause riots,
And meat brings humiliation,
And each gasp of air
Will fill one’s lungs with gun powder and smoke.

Nikki Giovanni ”The Butterfly- hat tip Kim Crosby.


“those things
which yo so laughingly call
hands are in fact two
brown butterflies fluttering
across the pleasure
they give my body”

— Nikki Giovanni ”The Butterfly