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
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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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Ruvn Ayzland There are pale girls painted red yiddish poem

It’s noon. Around us, all is quiet.
Only a single machine is humming like a bee, somewhere in a corner.
A girl is eating, cracking the shell of an egg,
and one or two others are sipping tea
in a warm and cozy mood.
Nearby someone is munching onions and bread–
and there are pale girls painted red.

And in the window I sit alone, my legs crossed and my hands in my lap,
And look out — just look out.

Ruvn Ayzland.

From: Yiddish Literature in America, 1870-2000, ed: Emanuel S. Goldsmith. Translator: Ba.rnett Zumoff. 2009.

Buy at Abebooks here.

Camomile Tea: Katherine Mansfield!

katherine_mansfield NPG P1009; Katherine Mansfield by John Herbert Folker

(l) Katherine Mansfield, Menton, France. 1921. Ref: PAColl-6826-1-15-1. Source: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand Website: http://beta.natlib.govt.nz/records/23146336

(r) Katherine Mansfield, by John Herbert Folker, 1917 – NPG P1009 – © National Portrait Gallery

Outside the sky is light with stars; 
There's a hollow roaring from the sea.
 
And, alas! for the little almond flowers, 
The wind is shaking the almond tree.
 

How little I thought, a year ago, 
In the horrible cottage upon the Lee 
That he and I should be sitting so 
And sipping a cup of camomile tea.
 

Light as feathers the witches fly, 
The horn of the moon is plain to see; 
By a firefly under a jonquil flower 
A goblin toasts a bumble-bee.
 

We might be fifty, we might be five, 
So snug, so compact, so wise are we! 
Under the kitchen-table leg 
My knee is pressing against his knee.
 

Our shutters are shut, the fire is low, 
The tap is dripping peacefully; 
The saucepan shadows on the wall 
Are black and round and plain to see.

Black History- Poetry. John Agard celebrates the British Anthem!

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Alternative Anthem

Put the kettle on
Put the kettle on
It is the British answer
to Armageddon.

Never mind taxes rise
Never mind trains are late
One thing you can be sure of
and that’s the kettle, mate.

It’s not whether you lose
It’s not whether you win
It’s whether or not
you’ve plugged the kettle in.

May the kettle ever hiss
May the kettle ever steam
It is the engine
that drives our nation’s dream.

Long live the kettle
that rules over us
May it be limescale free
and may it never rust.

Sing it on the beaches
Sing it from the housetops
The sun may set on empire
but the kettle never stops.”
― John AgardAlternative Anthem: Selected Poems

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He has a twinkle in his eye!

Eerste Verzen. J.J. Slauerhoff. Working on translation.

Eerste Verzen. J.J. Slauerhoff

[…] 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.

[…]
Mijn teedre vreugden zijn gevormd in porselein,
Anders dan zeer bezorgd raak ik hun randen niet;
De azuren geurwolk die mijn blonde thee ontvliedt,
Ontvoert vervluchtend ‘t leed en houdt mijn zielsrust rein.
[…]