Cuppa, Selina Nwulu #poem #poetryday #blacklivesmatter

Thinking about a poem with a migraine on the right side of your head. The one thing I noticed reading the poem the first time: I had trouble understanding what was going on, too much buzz. The second read and I skipped the sentences in italics. Didn’t do that on purpose. Both the buzz and the skipping are what this poem is about: people chatting with friends about their life, a crush, ignoring news in the background about lives drowned and lost.

Actually it probably is not the news, because the sentences read more as scattered thoughts. Maybe there is a third person listening. They go from sinking boats, long borders, back to ships, drowned people, memories, sinking people and sinking memories and then to the horrible image of bubbles, last breaths. A friend of mine drowned herself in the February ice. And how do help those people fleeing from religious armies?

I drank through a grande Earl Gray cup, going over this poem at home. I love the female gaze (if Selina identifies as a woman- not sure). A man’s face as a work of art and then he is quickly dismissed for a Friday Night outing. That was funny. We don’t know how to talk about art. And films spend so much time on men.

Do you know anyone with a face you could keep looking at, not someone necessarily that you have a crush on? In painting class the longest pose we did was 6 hours I think. Sculptures for sure. My nephew. People in youtube videos. Friends drinking coffee? The little boy face down on the beach.

And we spend such a short time thinking about drowning desperate people, refugees, that the kettle has boiled. I don’t have to finish the sentence. She didn’t finish her thoughts and we’re off to planning the weekend. And so am I, migraine still there.
Cuppa
by British poet Selina #Nwulu, April 30, 2016
.
.
Put the kettle on.

I’m not being funny but he’s well fit

no, you don’t understand

they’re all sinking in the Mediterranean sea

I’m actually speaking objectively here

our borders have become dense and long

it’s more an observation really

his face is near symmetrical

and their ships have burst into splints

it’s hypnotising

the sea is bloated with people’s limbs

it’s post attraction really

I’m appreciating him as a work of art

their memories did not make it either

well, of course I wouldn’t say no!

they’re all sinking in the Mediterranean sea

but that’s not the point

anyway, we still going out Friday?

watch how the bubbles float and pop.

Kettle’s boiled.

.
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http://www.selinanwulu.com/poetry/

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A Beautiful Town by Haya Pomrenze #poem #Jewish #death #mourning

A Beautiful Town by Haya Pomrenze

When my father died I was twelve hundred miles away
because a giggly-bosomed hospice nurse
in loud pink scrubs chirped
that it could be weeks, even a month.
That evening he had mushroom barley soup
then gave each child an I love you.
Over the phone it sounded like a regular I love you
not a final phrase, which is why
you have to see people when they speak to you.
I wish I could say that looking back
I heard my father’s wet cough, his rattled breath
a long pause, which forced me to board a plane.
Instead that night my father went to the bathroom
with his walker and his Jamaican aide he loved like a daughter,
which makes me feel happy and sad. His kidneys shut down
the way his face did when he was hurt or angry.
Back in the railed hospital bed he counted down in real time
the same way he did when we were late for carpool or synagogue.
Five minutes, four minutes, faltered at three.
He made it to one minute, eyes at half-mast.
It’s a beautiful town, he said.

—from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith

__________

Haya Pomrenze: “With the exception of eating rice pudding and chocolate babka, writing poetry is the closest I’ve come to a true spiritual experience. I’m a believer in God on my own terms. I write poems in synagogue, on carpool line, while having sex, working with my psych patients. I have absolute faith in a higher power when I write. There’s a bit of the divine in my mortal words.”

Intercity by Margarida Vale de Gato #sex #poem #love

Intercity

we ride down the backs of hills inside
the earth eating eucalyptus eating haystacks
spitting out the wind spitting out time spitting out
time
time the trains gulp the opposite way going
the opposite way stealing our time my love

I need you who are flying
to me
but you fly unfurling sails over the sea
you have wing-space you hover you drift while I
keep crawling towards you along the rails
with occasional sparks I write to you my love
cheating your absence the claustrophobia of the mustard
coloured curtains you walk on water and now
I know
words are less worthy than boats

I need you my love in this loneliness this forsakenness
of thick curtains preventing the sun preventing my
flight and nevertheless on the opposite side
the sky boasts little lamb clouds hopping
hopping on oats and wheat fields there are none here
we eat eucalyptus eucalyptus and whitewashed churches
leaning over level-crossing whitewashed churches
my love
I smoke a cigarette in between two stops I read
Lobo Antunes I think people are sad people
are so sad people are pathetic my
love just as well you hide me from the world you hide
me from the world’s patronising smiles the world’s
self-righteous consent
by night on your loins my love I
am also a boat sitting on top of your body
I am a mast

I need you my love I am tired I ache
close to where my eyes are set I feel like crying still I
desire you but before before you touch me before you say
I want you my love you shall let me sleep a hundred years
a hundred years from today we’ll be boats again
I am lonely
Portugal is everlasting we eat eucalyptus
everlasting eucalyptus lean and green
we eat eucalyptus interspersed with shrubs
we eat eucalyptus the ache of your absence my love
we eat this heat and the railtracks and anguish
set ablaze inside Lobo Antunes’ novel
we eat eucalyptus and Portugal is everlasting Portugal
is huge and I need you and in the opposite way they are stealing
time it’s our time they are stealing my love it’s time
time for us to be boats and sail through walls inside rooms
my love to be boats at night
at night to blow oh sweetly blow into full sail

boats.

 

Intercidades

galopamos pelas costas dos montes no interior
da terra a comer eucaliptos a comer os entulhos de feno
a cuspir o vento a cuspir o tempo a cuspir
o tempo
o tempo que os comboios do sentido contrário engolem
do sentido contrário roubam-nos o tempo meu amor

preciso de ti que vens voando
até mim
mas voas à vela sobre o mar
e tens espaço asas por isso vogas à deriva enquanto eu
vou rastejando ao teu encontro sobre os carris faiscando
ocasionalmente e escrevo para ti meu amor
a enganar a tua ausência a claustrofobia de cortinas
cor de mostarda tu caminhas sobre a água e agora
eu sei
as palavras valem menos do que os barcos

preciso de ti meu amor nesta solidão neste desamparo
de cortinas espessas que impedem o sol que me impedem
de voar e ainda assim do outro lado
o céu exibe nuvens pequeninas carneirinhos a trotar
a trotar sobre searas de aveia e trigais aqui não há
comemos eucaliptos eucaliptos e igrejas caiadas
debruçadas sobre os apeadeiros igrejas caiadas
meu amor
eu fumo um cigarro entre duas paragens leio
o Lobo Antunes e penso as pessoas são tristes as
as pessoas são tão tristes as pessoas são patéticas meu
amor ainda bem que tu me escondes do mundo me escondes
dos sorrisos condescendentes do mundo da comiseração
do mundo
à noite no teu corpo meu amor eu
também sou um barco sentada sobre o teu ventre
sou um mastro

preciso de ti meu amor estou cansada dói-me
em volta dos olhos tenho vontade de chorar mesmo assim
desejo-te mas antes antes de me tocares de dizeres quero-te
meu amor hás-de deixar-me dormir cem anos
depois de cem anos voltaremos a ser barcos
eu estou só
Portugal nunca mais acaba comemos eucaliptos
eucaliptos intermináveis longos e verdes
comemos eucaliptos entremeados de arbustos
comemos eucaliptos a dor da tua ausência meu amor
comemos este calor e os caminhos de ferro e a angústia
a deflagrar combustão no livro do Lobo Antunes
comemos eucaliptos e Portugal nunca mais acaba Portugal
é enorme eu preciso de ti e em sentido contrário roubam-nos
o tempo roubam-nos o tempo meu amor tempo
o tempo para sermos barcos e atravessar paredes dentro dos quartos
meu amor para sermos barcos à noite
à noite a soprar docemente sobre as velas acesas

barcos.

© Translation by Margarida Vale de Gato and Ana Hudson, 2010

in Mulher ao Mar, 2010http://www.poemsfromtheportuguese.org/Margarida__Vale_de_Gato

Day trip by Carole Satymurti

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 11.19.08 AM

Daytrip

Two women 70s hold hands
On the edge of Essex
Hair and strong nets
Shrieked Loughter echoing girls as single sucks from under feet
Easing in brine

There must be an unspoken point when the sea feels like
their future. no longer paddling, ankle submerge in lace
in satin ripple.
dress hems darken

they do not risk their balance
for the shimmering of ships
at the horizon’s sweep
as thigh deep they inch on
finger splayed wrists bent learning to walk again

“Reconciling Life With Death,” Early Verses by Jan Jacob Slauerhoff, ship’s doctor.

Early Verses by Jan Jacob Slauerhoff, ship’s doctor. Loose translation by me.

Autumn comes with storm and gusts of wind around the forests
Those, moaning, shake their leafage loose,
Make bunched-up-fruits cascade from branches,
Over-ripe summer fruit plop down to earth,
In moist soil-layers silently forming,
Composting into elemental matter:
All life obeys the seasons.
 
This then is reconciling life with death:
That all harvests are rooted in decaying matter;
That drab gray grounds paint roses blushing red;
That out of moulding thickets; out of the unwanted,
A Freedom will arise, a blossoming laden with fruit.

— Eerste Verzen. J.J. Slauerhoff

Herfst komt met storm en floersen om de bosschen
Die van hun loover kreunend zich verlossen,
Doet vruchtentrossen uit de takken storten,
Het vooze zomerooft ten gronde ploffen,
In vochtige bodemlagen stil verworden,
Verteren tot oorspronkelijke stoffen:
Het leven is gehoorzaam aan seizoenen.
 .

Dit is het leven met den dood verzoenen:
Dat alle oogsten wortlen in het doode,
Dat grauwe gronden rozen overrooden;
Uit de vermolmde woeker, het verfoeisel,
Zal Vrijheid stijgen, een volvruchtig bloeisel.

Winter at sea: Een eerlijk zeemansgraf by Jan Jacob Slauerhoff

A loose translation. There simply is no good translation that I can write. Most of the beautiful old Dutch is disappeared, even modern Dutch would not compare. I think if you yourself sail, you can maybe hear it in the English.

No deep meaning, only lovely description by the ship’s doctor…

The sea’s edge shifts cruel, the waves tumble wild,
From mild and green, abruptly broken, leaden and gray;
One night, there is the wind that shivers through open sky,
Next, akin to sudden death, the cold.

About rock islands without tree or grass,
Resting abandoned in time-worn space,
Blossoms only the fierce and unruly growth
Of rapidly rising, quickly wilting foam.

Aboard the ship on which no soothing fires burn,
The cold nestles itself in, for a long journey;
Against walls by night creaks awakened,
The floating ice grinds and shatters itself.

Winter op zee
De kim wordt wreed, de golven tuimlen wild,
Van mild en groen, spoorslags hardgrijs en grauw;
Eén nacht waarin de wind door ‘t luchtruim rilt,
Dan, als een plotselinge dood, de kou.

Om rotseilanden zonder boom en gras,
Liggend verlaten in het oeroud ruim,
Bloeit slechts ‘t onstuimig en verward gewas
Van ‘t snel opschietend, snel verwelkend schuim.

Op ‘t schip waarin geen vuren troostend branden,
Nestelt de kou zich voor een lange reis;
Tegen de ‘s nachts wakkergekraakte wanden
Kruit en verbrijzelt zich het drijvend ijs.

Een eerlijk zeemansgraf (1941)