53 Fragments Part 1 – creation / birth
The gravity of some old discontent had dragged you back to measurable time.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
Who would create a world
where a god could keep us
from knowing beyond the blood
of a Winesap? Ignorance is an orchard
waiting to tear through the soles
of our feet. A flood to drown
sin and save the animal. We search
for Eden along the Euphrates to find
the cradle of gold, but there are no
flaming swords guarding the gate,
there’s only a truth buried so well
we forget who carried the spade.
So much of us left like lodestone
in the earth. It comes down to this:
I asked to be hungry,
you consented to be tasted.
Lois P. Jones
My mother wove me
from the darkness
the black of night
She took the
And sprinkled them
into the strands of
my corn silk hair
Alone I drifted
I was the pearl inside
The smile upon her
The daydream in her
far away gaze
The cessation of longing
in her heart of hearts
The lullaby of her
The poem threaded
into her soul
Who am I now without her?
What is my destiny
Sharmagne Leland-St. John
creation myth (obatala)
slinking down the long chain as the vapors gathered
something forming in the mind in the sky a rumble
vibrations mounting as that mind’s magic began to bring forth vision
manifesting a timeless scenario
a fiercely beautiful cataclysm
from the dust, the clay of creation molded by sure hands
shaping life as it shifted winds and sculpted fire
Kevin M. Hibsham
Air still on my lips,
I don’t know what it is.
Is it I? Is it you?
Does it float
like my heart feathers?
Voice, a dark shimmering thing
at the edge of my head. Something sweet too.
I want to swallow the world outside, it’s all new,
is it this black or
is it this sticky red crushing?
I will spit it with my first breath: oldening.
One day we came to a mountain.
It stood hard-edged and black
over the grey expanse, the twisted
heather, the burnt wastes,
the sphagnum marshes. Slowly,
the sky drifted over it.
We stood and watched.
It was magic.
We could not move.
Though we wanted to reach
the flowery meadows
of the river valley,
we were drawn in closer
to the mountain’s shadows.
There was a hole in its side.
We sat in the darkness,
listened to water dripping
from far above into a cacophonous
space, where great steel vessels
clashed and rebounded,
aimless and lost.
We heard voices:
chanting choirs, mass
upon mass, solos moving
in and out of the foreground,
over orchestras, strings
and guitars. Under it all,
an organ whose great
ultrasound crumbled the rocks,
shook our bones to the marrow.
How we came out I don’t know.
I will never forget those voices.
The next time I looked at the mountain
I let out a cry.
It had turned around, was now facing
the other way.
I didn’t know then if I was held
by or holding it, or if I was
mother and newborn in one.
The Collector Of Colours & Celebration
Once upon a time there was a place
That was brown
Everything in it was every possible degree of that colour
The trees were brown and their leaves too daffodils tulips
Bees canaries robin red breasts and blue whales
Were all brown the oceans the sky the clouds the earth
In this place brown was everything and everything was brown
Mother Nature was starting to become unsettled
There was something missing something needed to happen
But she didn’t know what
She looked down into the valleys and saw the brown sighed
Wondered what she was waiting for what unknown change
Did she long for?
Millions and billions of years of waiting had made her tired
And one day she was so tired she fell into a deep sleep
Deeper than any she had ever known
She slept and slept dreaming of the brown
And of something that was absent
Then it happened then the first drop of rain woke her up
And she asked herself
What was this this thing that had woken her she did not know rain
She did not know wetness but she did know this was the change
She had been waiting for as the rain increased
One drop became many and the many drops
Again Mother Nature grew tired
The more she resisted the more tired she became
Then she slept
She could not say for how long but one day she stirred
And opened her eyes
She saw things she had never seen before she looked down
Into the valley and saw trees their brown trunks and branches
But now she saw the first leaf that was not brown
She saw something she could not explain and she said green
And a single green leaf was part of thousands of green leaves
All green and all different and she looked
Into the sky the clouds were no longer brown
They were something else now
She said white and grey
The sky’s brown had disappeared
Mother nature squinted her thoughts
As she said blue she saw the tulips and sighed red
Her eyes filled with daffodils and she sang yellow
Yellow poured from the round sun in the blue sky framed
By white clouds
From the clouds fell arcs of colours red orange yellow green
Blue indigo and violet the rain stopped the brown was joined
By a family of colors
Mother nature smiled and busied herself
Her nose erupted with smells she did not know
A feeling she had waited patiently to celebrate
After Stanley Plumly
A new pillow throws feathers through the house
like a trail of ducklings, or goslings, or more likely
a hen’s chicks, the plucked down white as snow
turning yellow being trod on, like snow. Somehow
they remind me of birth, the blank slate of it.
Some say they have been born again in the Lord,
the past wiped away. What if we all could be born anew?
Memories become crystallized and then you remember
the line said about it, or a photograph, sepia, that you
tint with your brain. Some say they can remember
that rush into the world, the escape from the womb.
I was told, “You slipped out like a watermelon seed,”
the second twin, the smaller, the one who often
does not survive, lonely in the incubator (I’m sure
I remember the loneliness) where the other was not.
Our mother, depleted, exhausted, could not nurse.
The other’s formula richer, yet she bawled and bawled
with hunger, greedily emptying her bottle. Our mother
snatched mine, half full, and plunged it into the other’s
gaping mouth. I happily, sleepily, relinquished it.
Our mother felt guilty, but I did not. We were so
close in the womb, at first they said we were
identical, yet there were eight minutes between us
and two placentas. This is what we were told. And
I slipped out while my mother slept, and my sister wept.
the trips west follow the journals
of Thor Heyerdahl, a place I did not know
only read about, an isolated dot in a chaotic
an environment left untouched until the sighting
of the Europeans beneath the world
is another world, below the Equator,
the people left after the conquistadors
the people Cesaire, Guillan and Fanon called
wretched of the earth, the people of rugged-
rock jutting into the color of archipelago
calling themselves native, inhabit Paradise
and Guraguay Huallamarca and Huaca Padlana
and Huaca Mateo Salado and Pachacamae
calling themselves Inca; calling themselves
Arawak; calling them Taino and Mestizo
calling them maroon and Mayan and Polynesian
the people leaving Lima Millenia
with King Tiki, the white face left in rock.
and the mother has taken me
like a kangaroo does her pouch
the blue atmosphere becomes amniotic
the floor becomes skeletal; becomes
and her umbilical reaches me before
discharge, then she breaths
her trade wind; then I become lung
without name, never seen before, zoo-
plankton as edible enough as salt
the ancient variety of Galapagos,
the grunt and gruel and hoarse baying
of the shark whale, we live alone
she is mother; she disciplines me
as she did Berlanga and Pizarro
without her fertility, the plastic
bags and garbage left without receptacle
we start nine million league
mother, her maternal instinct wants
to make clean of her cesspool inhabitant
forgetting she is available for our use
once the way we travel either by Titanic
or Lusitania she becomes frantic
she has antennae and receptors
she has photosynthesis, the moon
watches as she combs her hair, then waves
her ability to pull down and pull under
like a nautical abortion.
The Day I Was Born
My mother washed her face in cold water, tied her hair back, and put on an old dress. She said she knew my birth would be hard, that she had given birth before, to my sister, and that then the dirt had flushed out of her body like a rabid dog that had finally snapped its chain. She said as well there had been storms the day before I was born, and the creeks near the refugee camp were running high, and some of the barracks near the river were evacuated.
She said she was alone that day I was born. My father had seen my sister Donna being born two years earlier, and he wept and said to my mother that he couldn’t go through that again. So she told him he should just leave, take the money they had and go buy himself some vodka or whiskey, find a barn he could crawl up into and drown himself in the drink, until he couldn’t hear her screams or see the mess that was coming.
There was no hospital, no doctor, no nurse, no midwife, no one with her to help her with the darkness and the screaming when I started to come. There was just me and the tearing in her stomach and her bones breaking apart like God had decided to squeeze her until she was nothing but blood exploding through her useless skin in His dirty hand.
And feeling it, feeling the river of shit and squeezing and bones breaking, she remembered the road that brought her there to that refugee camp in Germany and that darkness.
She remembered the Germans who killed her mother and raped her sister and kicked her sister’s baby to death, and the years in the slave labor camp when the guards would promise her a potato if she would suck them, or a piece of meat if she would fuck them, and she remembered being thankful for the food.
She remembered too the time after the war when the other women in the refugee camp struggled to hold on to their babies because they knew that giving birth to them would kill them because their wombs were still in the war, still weak and tortured and beaten, still kicked and stabbed and wounded, still bleeding and crying and hoping, still falling and slipping and starving, still kneeling and begging and weeping, still everything that had happened since the day the Germans put her and the girls from her village on the train to bring them to this Germany where every birth was a struggle in the mud for a breath.
And she screamed then and knew that screaming was useless, and so she screamed again and kept screaming until the flood came and my bones poured from her flesh like tomatoes exploding in the hands of a dirty God who didn’t care about what she remembered or feared or wept over.
She knew that all He wanted was to hold another life in His hand, and that nothing she could beg for could change the way He turned the baby, regarded it, and let it live and not.
Swallowing our Tale
An inhalation of breath, hold—
exhale a flash, light, a rocket
tearing chaos to shreds as—
breathe in, hold, breathe out
the contraction, pulling back from
while tightening around a space—
light, dark, expand into, contract
from—and timing is everything:
first divide light and dark
then sky and sea and send
sparks—fusing the Big Bang
or the Creator’s sparklers
spraying souls out into
something where there was
nothing. Then progress from
land to plants to animals.
Then progress to human
life, born of women’s
sacred bodies, a division
into two lives, a universe in
seven days, the sexual
explosion of random energy
or the sensual development
of genetic reasoning—we are
here, and here, and there,
revealed in the haze-filtered
in a rim of orange light
pouring through the film
of the world—sunset and
entropy seeded with the
first breath and mature
with the last we take,
when we swallow our tale.
One universally inspired shoe-in fitted
fiddling while its mating mates dissolved inside
that fluid tomb of genocidal suicide.
The early hay was made, the sun shining late in April.
The fast dividing cells rang bells-
were they celebrant of goodwill or some deep seated regret?
I care to forget
because my own experience was one of carelessness-
the kind you find when grown,
a thing you never can disown,
the invisibility of it and an abandonment within the home.
To her I had arrived
but to the rest I was always seen as birthless. So it began.
White walls. White painted floors. All white-
stark contrast to red, in ancient ceremony.
For some long beginning I’d been swimming, learning,
listening, gathering facts, fats and now was squirming:
crying from inner space to be given more space
amongst what I already feared- the murderous, jealous kin,
nine months plus between the pus of an abortion discussed
versus the living with another portion to be found-
a poverty pie with thinner slices.
If it’s a boy no hand-me-downs.
Then the storms, the earthquakes on my ocean floor
and every global voice I heard was pleading anxiously for more.
Was this the world where they hurled babies at the walls,
stripped the sweet meat from the brittle bones
and saved for their Shamen both cheeks in ignorant atonement?
Shit. I could smell her shit.
I nearly strangled myself in the birth canal, complicit
with my own umbilical because I saw my life flashing before me-
stepping stones of disappointments, misconceptions and rejections
but my mind of miracles,
a small universe afloat inside my moulded skull,
called a truce to all hostilities. It was because of my abilities
that I breathed the white air and sought
I had to wait to sixty-five to find the truth of why
I’m still alive-
and, now I know, I daily fight off my masochistic bids for suicide.
I can make things matter when I’m blood spattered-
given the means to save you, I always would, before myself.
I slide the stainless knives away. Tidy. Hide me.
Like some insane jerk I sometimes pray [Uselessly and ruthlessly]
for advanced Alien humanoids to more than chance upon us,
their space bus, as planned, bringing evolved life to the real empaths,
re-location and incarceration for the psychopaths that I was born to show thanks
to for the wooden bowls of scraps that, now and then, came my way.
I made three babies with a psychopathic bitch and, friend or foe,
I will know swiftly which. So pay heed and watch me.
The curtain rises, the dance begins
in our heads and in our skin. Innocent,
we know nothing of bright lights or stage
presence. We scream so we can breathe.
If There is Light It Will Find You
But what if there’s only darkness?
Memories scored in black ink
and scattered paper— the mother
folded into herself weeping
with a letter in her hand?
The father receiving the blows
that won’t kill him, only blind him?
The violin doesn’t play for everyone.
Caravaggio killed a man in a tennis court
but he was still a painter.
Sunny morning – bees are busy.
So far seven or eight stings, mostly
the first day. Mumu had one in the leg,
middle of the night, the night
of the swarm. The bees had followed
me upstairs to bed.
The hive in the tree had broken open.
She was a child in love with a plate,
bone-china bare of leaves and up all night,
silent of speech, tugging a kite
in season of ice, the Per-Sone,
the hand from the soil.
I sought her for her singing chakra,
her writing spiraling in the air,
her starburst crown,
her wind-view eye,
the eggs hatched in the laurel,
the triple pair,
and only later for her antennae,
her no-limits vision, sat in a chair,
the queen coiled up in her secret bedroom
to see how far (and the quote from Carlyle:
was it she? or had she already flown?)
six poems could soar.
Coming and Going
Invisible life, arriving and floating
inside fleshy walled berth.
Time delivers bigger life, pulled
by muscles and tightness.
It takes a journey
down a passage, emerging
into a new world.
Between two possibilities a code,
smuggled into creation,
ruminates inside a common red running;
Encased by one-off optics.
That it begins small
and ends in death (always);
This is the rub, erasing dusty ends,
in coming and going.
A Nib’s Thirst
A figure approaches the problem
Shielded from the blocks
By a stack of white paper
A hardening determination
A single bucket of ink
A stainless steel nib
Has already engraved the letters
S T O R Y
Upon the whiteness
The battle has begun
She spent many hide-and-seek hours
Attempting to steer clear
Of the delicate barbed alphabet
Then a picture – straight and un-translated
Bruised the surface of her eyes
Stroked her brain
A single and seemingly innocent set of marks
Cut through the blankness
Slashed out with wild blindness
Seeing has to start somewhere
She wanted subtlety and ambiguity
But the arrow must still fly straight
Plot must not be choked by pretension
An assortment of characters
Creep out through the gaps
They slyly step aside from her efforts
To pin-point and tie-down
A bit like in real life
Where we wriggle around in the spaces
Between ourselves and each other
And some see us
And some take us in
With and without the lies
She throws chains around her creations’ necks
Gives them names and Chinese star signs
A past in the hope of finding their future
All the debris that is sometimes run away from
Sentences are set into motion
She calls it speech
Listening and being takes place
Sometimes the line between character
And real person becomes blurred
The borders are gradually rubbed away
A certain form of madness takes over
Or something like it
Illusion and delusion deepen
She eats and she drinks
Sleeps and wakes up
She continues the development
Of structure and dialogue
She looks for the second act
Then the third and plots the plot
Or tries to
At last She steps back
Feels the months and counts
The burnt moths` wings
It is over
The pile of whiteness is no longer blank
The bucket is empty
The nib’s thirst has been quenched
She has the script and it has her
She Wears a Nest of Eggs
The loose twigs from her headnest are a netted veil.
They do not conceal one eye cocked to the left
and her other, ochreous and runny as it tries to contain
a secret. He is careful not to touch the eggs
nor look through them. Their shells less chalcedonic
than the half dozen he acquired from market last Sunday –
the most expensive purchase he’d ever made. Even as he tapped
at the edge of the blue bowl, how easily they relented –
cracked like ice on an October puddle, releasing
their enigmas. So different from the hard casts
he’d known which need a course hand to break them
as if some mothers must layer their eggs for what will never
be born. He wishes she could see the young hen
who laid them hustling past the barn’s square portal,
feet touching the new grass still fresh with rain. All
in a moment the hen’s breath of hay and the sky blue caul
surrounding the fowl as it scratched the earth for worms
in the warm summer light. He watches mother balance carefully
on her good unicycle limb. She says God gave her
a pair of paper wings to keep her from flying away.
Lois P. Jones
Within pulsating heart of molten red
Within vibrating mind of frozen red
A fading joy fades amid smiles shed
Weary shivering tendrils of thoughts black
Weary ravaged roots of a motion black
Dampen the path in this tear trail shack
Absence of colour nurtures hungry grey
Absence of light buries dry shoddy grey
Muddy Waters lightens this desolate day
A purity polishes balanced white
A purity seeks truth in wild white
Infinite azure floats on sad respite
Oh sapphire sorrow challenged to cope
New beginnings in blue embrace lost Hope
End of Part 1