Songs from Exile

SONGS FROM EXILE

 

You Will remain lonely

As you are.. single..!

The long nights harm

The sleepless eyes

And the wine remains

The only mate of drunkards

And you.. Lonely as you are..

Navigating the seas ..

Crossing cities..

And you come and go

As you always are.. Alone ..!

 

Perhaps the countryside

Is singing that resembles

The singing of nightingales..!

And you, so crazy

With the love of the homeland,

You also love the sand..

Love orchards..!

This is why you were amazed..

And protected your hands

When the creak of chains

Were too much to stand.

And you became lonely

While « Fairuz » sings for you

“The neighbor of the valley”

Singing it as a struggling memory.

 

Are you Still requesting

The end of darkness ..?!

While your shadow is still running

Behind the tents ..?!

How would you be able to sing

Morning lights’ songs,

While your heart is shouting:

“O! You Sleepers!?”

 

You are prisoner to the lust of travels..

And to the melodies of poetry

A cover or palms!

Women or deserts!

And the beautiful voice

A sad and bare sound

Is to you like an Achilles’ tendon

Thrown by exile’s lands …!

 

And you will remain lonely

As you already are alone ..!

From the winds you come

To the winds you walk

Stranger as a wandering grain of sand

In the wind you grow

And in the wind you suffer

Fugitive like a rhyme in a poem

And you ask for the land of « Saguia »

Asking the clouds about your land of love

« – Is my homeland’s dawn ahead?

Answer  me so as I survive.

Answer  me so as I heal

My country is my wounds…

My wounds are my country… »

But no one gives you answers.

Nor the clouds confessed.

Neither the morning came.

Neither questions healed your wounds

And there is no land for you

Your home is the wind ..

It is your exile .. /

Your shelter .. /

Your life .. /

Your trip .. /

Your return .. /

There is no land for you ..

Except for this mirage

No hugs for you ..

Except for the hugs of absence

Lonely like Odysseus you are

Struggling against nostalgia to the homeland

Struggling against the waves

Struggling against separation from your people

And deceit of comrades

And the curse of the Security Council of  hypocrisy

Lonely …

Strange …

Displaced …

A fugitive …

No land for you

No .. And you don’t have rights

To live without torment

And without destruction.

Yet you’ll read a newspaper one day

And hear in another a resolution.

But what happened ..?!

From the wind you come

To the wind you walk

Stranger like a fugitive grain of sand.

Is it that you will remain alone

In the wind you grow

And in the wind you suffer

Fugitive like a rhyme in a poem

And what happened ..?!

From the wind you come

To the wind you walk

Is it really that you will remain lonely ..?!

In the wind you grow

With the wind you suffer..?!

And remain alone..?!

And suffer alone..?!

And suffer …

And remain …

Lonely ..

And suffer

And remain

Lonely As you are ..?!

 

 

Copyright © 2016. Hamza Lakhal

Translated from Arabic by Malainin Lakhal

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

End Game

 

END GAME

 

i.)

 

Is the plot

at my window with a broken wing.

 

ii.)

 

Time unreal

to the last syllable of recorded time.

 

iii.)

 

That is the question

to quantum or not to quantum, time.

 

iv.)

 

Race against extinction

a computer brain outside time.

 

v.)

 

A quantum moment

the last day, a day of resurrection.

 

vi.)

 

To mimic or simulate

a multiverse machine, gnosticism reborn.

 

vii.)

 

Time real, Newton, Einstein

out of sync, motion observed from a position of rest.

 

viii.)

 

An indeterminate future

Consciousness through non local entanglement.

 

ix.)

 

Time real, end game

at my window with a broken wing.

 

From World at Large Part 2

Copyright © 2015. Robin Ouzman Hislop

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

Robin is editor of on line poetry journal Poetry Life and Times at www.artvilla.com/plt. He edits both Facebook Pages PoetryLifeTimes and Artvilla.com as extensions of the Artvilla site, which he also edits.

East of Eden

 

EAST OF EDEN

 

The killing machine kills more animals a day

for consumption

than ipso facto, we in a year’s killing fields.

 

God made in our image, the anonymous

crowd, knotted

through with confections washed up on

 

Our coast of humanity, which windows

onto a Zoo

life thrives on deception. A moral mind

 

An  infallible judgement, where everyone

is dead

every tomb unearthed, then resealed

 

Animal, human remains heaped in fields

as tipped

dumps, where even  the horizon’s clouds

 

Are vapid incineration, a house of cards

crumbling, falling

into one another, into the pit that blots us out.

 

 

From World at Large Part 2

Copyright © 2015. Robin Ouzman Hislop

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

Robin is editor of on line poetry journal Poetry Life and Times at www.artvilla.com/plt. He edits both Facebook Pages PoetryLifeTimes and Artvilla.com as extensions of the Artvilla site, which he also edits.

Dracula Hearse

 

DRACULA HEARSE

 

Winter’s black mulch bites with old familiarity

this makeshift dream sense of reality

soggy moss fringe on dank tarmac

the traffic din roar, not that I am that

their warm hum passing this pedestrian shadow.

 

Man plus the machine, an AI chip fixes my brain

sequence the genome by back up copies

Span the multiverse through quantum time

encounter my variant twin, twin variables

gesticulating our apeth grins

in a labyrinth of crazy mirrors.

 

Entanglement, special attraction, entropy

a hologram, homeward bound

for the multiverse, in my Dracula Hearse

 

From World at Large Part 2

Copyright © 2015. Robin Ouzman Hislop

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

 

Robin is editor of on line poetry journal Poetry Life and Times at www.artvilla.com/plt. He edits both Facebook Pages PoetryLifeTimes and Artvilla.com as extensions of the Artvilla site, which he also edits.

Day of Adam

 

DAY OF ADAM

 

O great grandmother of Eden *

i don’t know

if the sun will rise tomorrow.

 

The body is a tomb

soma sema

the Orphics say.

 

Only the flow unfolds

folding

the enclosure of a turbulent dream

 

Where i wind the shuddering

spectres

of ephemeral yesterdays.

 

Bits of drift, flotsam

jetsam

on the sea of time transformed

 

To now where sea horses

leave the waves

only to see, only to see.

 

* Contentiously the first primate on the Savannah, arguably the original Australopithecus female Eve of Eden from which the Homo Sapient species descends.

 

From World at Large Part 2

Copyright © 2015. Robin Ouzman Hislop

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

 

Robin is editor of on line poetry journal Poetry Life and Times at www.artvilla.com/plt. He edits both Facebook Pages PoetryLifeTimes and Artvilla.com as extensions of the Artvilla site, which he also edits.

The Northern Powerhouse

 

THE NORTHERN POWERHOUSE

 

We’re still here as wind whips white powder

across aborted roads till our eyes sting.

It sticks in the throat like surrender

from the slumped union man, red tie flapping

in the coordinated attack from the dust

and the galeforce stink of chicken shit someone dumped

last night to keep the numbers down. They already cut

the cables on number 1, said the shaft was unsafe, couldn’t

leave it, oh Lordy, no, Health & Safety, gone

now but it was safe enough until the last three weeks

to send working men down to keep the lights on.

Now the brass band plays Abide with me

as the handmade banner fights the wind.

This is where we’re from. This is who we are.

 

We’re still here after Buyout: Closure,

Buyout: Closure, times two; last one gifted

to a rich man’s son. What’s wrong with an old Micra,

like that stolen one that just drifted

over the rubble on the roundabout?

Every time we kept the union alive.

80% ballots left no room for doubt,

just like in the war when they went on strike

for the right to have soap. They hated Hitler

and defended their country underground,

but they didn’t care much for Churchill either.

Record productions followed by shutdowns,

markets rigged by free market excuses.

This is where we’re from. This is who we are.

 

We’re still here, though they’re determined to wipe us out,

not just because it’s a pit, not because it’s coal,

not just because it’s where our past got its power,

but because we represent a vision, a whole

different world. No wonder we’re bitter with chasers

of ashes in Poundland, bought off with knock-off Prada bags.

It’s a bit late to say, Don’t be political

in top-down class warfare where that black stuff is taxed

to death so they can sob lies at her funeral.

As the band plays Jerusalem we will not cease

from mental fight, will never bow to urbane devils

of privilege who sell us War in the name of Peace,

and sneer hope lies dead after all we’ve gained through struggles.

This is where we’re from. This is who we are.

And we’re still here.

 

Copyright © 2015. Jimmy Andrex

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

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The Marxist Dada Stool Club

 

THE MARXIST DADA STOOL CLUB

 

We lost our faith in democracy

Capitalism and markets,

So we decided to get creative

And chose some better targets.

 

Some things can’t be properly

Conveyed just using words,

So we decided to start the fightback

Swapping petrol bombs for turds.

 

Take it to the enemy,

Strike a dagger in their vampire hearts

On the 7th, 9th and 18th greens,

Being careful not to fart.

 

We’ve ten years of clean getaways,

They still think it’s just one man,

But they misjudged the power of artists

With our precision bombing plan.

 

Sneak in and squat on the target,

Though it might seem base and mean,

Bomb the symbols of elitism and privilege,

But wipe your arse: stay clean.

 

We’re the Marxist Dada Stool Club,

A dedicated crew.

We’re credible and we deliver,

Our policy is always to follow through.

 

It might look crude and simple,

But I don’t suggest you try it

Unless you’re thorough and committed

And on a high fibre diet.

 

We’re the Marxist Dada Stool Club,

We don’t need a pooper scooper.

Bare our backsides at austerity,

It makes more sense than Yvette Cooper.

 

Copyright © 2015. Jimmy Andrex

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

Brave Greece

BRAVE GREECE

Daedalus and Icarus by Charles P. Landon

Daedalus and Icarus by Charles P. Landon

Daedalus and Icarus

On the verge of the abyss

Take a leap of faith,

Against the odds of their myth,

Against the advice of the raptors,

And jump onto paradise

To save their enslaved

Mother and wife.

They proudly left behind

Their burdens and blames

And now they glide light

Through winds of disdain,

Through purgatory’s clouds

Amongst Europe’s cheers,

As they escape from their funeral,

As they escape from their fears.

Copyright © 2015. Tony Martin-Woods (A.M.A.)

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

Reunion of the Broken Parts

 

REUNION OF THE BROKEN PARTS

(definition of the Arabic word al-jebr, The Times, 9 January, 2015. The quotation from Omar Khayyàm is from verse 51 of his Rubaiyàt)

 

Social media shifts political correctness.

One minute je suis Charlie swamps the screens,

then someone tweets that Ahmed

was gunned down defending the right

of atheists to ridicule his God.

Does he get seventy-two virgins, too?

 

Facebook is flooded with homage cartoons:

a snapped pencil sharpens itself, twice.

The moving finger writes, and having writ

Moves on; now, je suis juif

and holocaust memorial day

raises its grizzled head one more.

 

Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia

a blasphemer receives fifty

of his allocated thousand lashes.

Who can find one deity to hold it all together

while his flayed back begins to knit,

and someone posts je suis Bartholemew.

 

Copyright © 2015. Hannah Stone

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

Overtime

 

OVERTIME

 

Pulling the trigger’s the easy part, because

you never know if it’s actually you

or one of the other Brimob officers

who’s firing live rounds. It might be

that I’ve never fired a fatal shot!

 

We work in a team, five of us to fetch

the prisoner from his isolation cell.

They don’t protest much, though –

they’ve been on death row long enough.

It takes place in the middle of the night.

If it were light enough, maybe you’d see

more than the whites of their eyes.

They can choose to cover their face

before we tie them up.

 

That’s the worst bit; touching

men who are about to die,

lacing their hands and feet and limbs

to the cross, using thick rope. God has decreed

whether or not they sin. I say to them:

I’m sorry, just doing my job.

 

It’s extra cash, you see – we’re police officers by day.

We get $100 a time for this, by way of bonus, earn it

for those few moments of brutal intimacy –

the sweaty palms and rapid breathing. We escort them

to a clearing in the jungle.

 

In the darkness, a torch is shone

onto a target drawn over their hearts.

You could cover it with the palm of your hand.

 

In my nightmares I am dazzled

by that beam, but stare into it

for as long as I can because when it drops

below my gaze, I know my brothers are taking aim.

 

Note: Brimob – term given to teams of executioners appointed to carry out the death penalty on drugs-related convicts on the prison island of Nusa Kambangan, Indonesia (Guardian, 7 March 2015)

Copyright © 2015. Hannah Stone

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

Exploring the Feminine and the Divine

EXPLORANDO LO FEMENINO Y LO DIVINO


Spanish poets Inma Pelegrín and Katy Parra join their voices with Irish poet Siobhan Mac Mahon and London poet Hannah Stone in this International Writers at Leeds event. The artists celebrate life and light alongside their exploration, through poetic dialogue, of how the feminine consciousness is embodied and expressed in relation to divinity.

Music by Irish guitarist Sabrina Piggott. Translations and final poetic collage (using exclusively verses by the 4 poets) by Antonio Martínez-Arboleda (University of Leeds).

The video contains original poems in English and Spanish as well as some translations. The event took place at Leeds Central Library on 3 February 2015.

With thanks to Leeds Trinity University, Instituto Cervantes of Leeds and Manchester, Leeds Central Library, School of Modern Languages and Cultures (University of Leeds) and Transforming with Poetry at Inkwell.

cc by nc sa

Asylum

ASYLUM

 

Send them back, we say,
those refugees,
the nameless millions seeking sanctuary.
The faceless hoards. Like pigs
we herd them in a pen.
What need have we to lie awake
in the laundered linen of our beds
and think or feel or give a dam.
You cannot sell humanity.
You cannot buy their pain.

 

For it isn’t you or you or even I
must leave the place we once called home –
the charred and smoky remnants of our lives –
surrounded by the brute hostility,
the naked hatred in our neighbours’ eyes.
For it isn’t you or you or even I
that terror hounds within the night
and stalks its fearful prey.

 

We do not lie alone in empty beds
where once our gentle lover laid his head.
It’s not our children that we hold
and rock and rock throughout the long,
long night.
Not us must fail to find the words,
not us who have no answer for,
not us who cannot fill
their dark eyed holes of broken trust
that plead with us to find redemption
for a loss too soon
to even know its name.

 

So send them back, we say,
our hearts are closed.
We have no room.

 

Copyright © 2014. Siobhan Mac Mahon
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

Forgotten Memory

FORGOTTEN MEMORY, BY SIOBHAN MAC MAHON

 

Let us grieve for the broken body of our Earth,
For the pillaged devastation of our despair,
Crying out in her agony
Her legs splayed open wide
And all her treasure plundered.

 

Let us cover our naked bodies
In the ashes of our dead and weeping
Kneel upon this blessed Earth
Sending up a great lament
Imploring her forgiveness.

 

For this is our body
This is our blood.
Only we have forgotten.

 

We have forgotten
The Holy Mystery of our lives
The place where prayer
Opens softly in the darkness
Of our bodies humming
With sweetness, the place
Where every cell and fibre of our beings
Is ringing out an Angelus
An Alleluia chorus, an Ave Maria.

 

Let us remember
The deep well of our belonging
The Holy Mystery of our lives
And let us dream
A new world into being.

 

Let us dream
A new world Into being.

 

Copyright © 2014. Siobhan Mac Mahon
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

Dethroned

DETHRONED

 

 
On ‘good’ days you stood in a sea of words,
arms powerless to save each wave
from washing further out of reach
the language which was your toolbox at work,
and a weapon in our home.
You railed and swore with fragments still conscripted,
half-laughing when invention replaced memory.

 

I’d meet you halfway, on the shore of meaning.

 

Perhaps the ‘bad’ days you have now are preferable,
when your mouth chews on nothing,
and your eyes are empty;
I prompt you in my head:
See, I cannot hold the tide,
not I, even I, with all my force.
Speak for me.

 

What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.

 

Copyright © 2014. Hannah Stone
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

Losing your head

LOSING YOUR HEAD

 

In the old days there was much smiting.
Old Masters painted burly arms, raised seconds
before the scourge dropped, deadweight
on the un-ribboned back of Christ.

 

Frescoes froze forever Salome’s sly smile
at her dangling trophy,
the baptizer’s neck spangling
Tuscan hillsides with ruby pigment.

 

A female Pre-Raphaelite showed the Utopian’s head
lowered by soldiers, in a basket;
no pot of basil for Margaret, but
tearful embalming in soft cloth.

 

Now, a triumphal jihadist poses
against the concrete of Raqqua’s square;
tweeting: Chillin’ with my homie
Or what’s left of him. Hashtag showed him.

 

Grey light filters through the chainlink;
he hides his own head from the sun’s eye
and the world’s gaze; not much left
of his humanity.

 

Copyright © 2014. Hannah Stone
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

Windowsill

WINDOWSILL

 

A red light flashes,
On the roof of an office block.
It’s 10pm and whole floors are still illuminated.
I wonder which,
Of the thousands of lights
Dotted across the inky skyline
Correspond.

 

In a dimly lit bedroom,
Somewhere barely visible
To my insignificant eyes,
Is there a person,
Heavy with the enticing pull of sleepiness,
Waiting for their lover,
To finally turn out their office light
And fall asleep at their side?

 

Late on a Sunday evening,
Is there a parent,
In the harsh light of their kitchen,
Preparing meals for a child
Who must eat alone this week;
Dinner with family being a luxury
Only afforded by those who do not work a 50 hour week.

 

And yet, a few streets away,
A manager enjoys the comforting weight of a deep sleep,
Cocooned in the reassuring arms
Of a goose-down duvet,
And the knowledge that their staff
Will work harder than them,
Whilst money trickles steadily
Into their bank account.

 

So on an October night,
When the first hints of winter
Wrap their icy fingertips around the city,
As I sit on my windowsill into the early hours,
I wonder,
Which meaningless little light out there
Is mine?

 

When my mind wanders
And I have created lives behind
Every pane of glass,
Has anyone thought about me?
Can anyone feel the fresh, cold air
On their anonymous face,
And picture that same breeze
Sending a chill through my body
As it gently steals the warmth
From my fingers and toes?

 

Guided by the impossibility
Of ever knowing
I continue to write,
Sat solitary on my windowsill,
Observing the city from above,
With the glowing embers of a hope
That I am not alone.

 

Copyright © 2014. Hannah Thomas
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

Solidarity

SOLIDARITY

 

Prime Minister,

 

This is dramatic.
Humanity can’t wait.

 

Her Majesty,

 

Children die,
rotting in the streets.

 

Chancellor,

 

Let’s pull our weight
to end this misery and hell.

 

We understand, Tony,

 

Equipment, water, food
can be sent in due course.

 

But we’ll do things properly,
we’ll connect with the nation
capturing the imagination
of every decent mind and soul.

 

Let the public jump
off our glorious cliffs
with hand-made parachutes
and Mickey Mouse full kits.

 

Let them fly to the jungle,
to run a triathlon,
in the scorching heat,
wearing a fur coat
(a plastic one, I mean).

 

White nose Johnny
will sing a love song
in 5 different languages,
naked,
in the North Pole.

 

Oh,
and Chris Evans can auction
a red gorgeous Ferrari,
on a BBC show.

 

Bidders will flock!

 

…and forget about politics,
forget it, you fool!

 

…forget taxing the rich
they could leave us soon.

 

…forget about solidarity,
charity will just do!

 

Copyright © 2014. Tony Martin-Woods (A.M.A.)
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved

A centenary war poem

A CENTENARY WAR POEM
For my father Bill Baine, 1899-1968
1/15th Battalion, London Regiment , soldier number 535068

 

‘What passing-bells for those who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.’
And so some lines to spike centenary prattle:
These words a sole survivor soldier’s son’s.

 

My father Bill, born in Victorian England:
The sixth of January, 1899.
His stock, loyal London. Proletarian doff-cap.
Aged seventeen, he went to join the line

 

Not in a war to end all wars forever
Just in a ghastly slaughter at the Somme –
A pointless feud, a royal family squabble
Fought by their proxy poor with gun and bomb.

 

My father saved. Pyrexia, unknown origin.
Front line battalion: he lay sick in bed.
His comrades formed their line, then came the whistle
And then the news that every one was dead

 

In later life a polished comic poet
No words to us expressed that awful fear
Although we knew such things were not forgotten.
He dreamed Sassoon: he wrote Belloc and Lear.

 

When I was ten he died, but I remember,
Although just once, he’d hinted at the truth.
He put down Henry King and Jabberwocky
And read me Owen’s ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’.

 

‘What passing-bells for those who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.’
And so some lines to spike Gove’s mindless prattle:
These words a sole survivor soldier’s son’s.
Soldier in Euston Road, London. 3-10-2014. Picture by Tony Martin-Woods

Soldier in Euston Road, London. 3-10-2014. Picture by Tony Martin-Woods

ATS/JB 22nd January 2014
Copyright © 2014. Attila the Stockbroker
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

Bob Crow

BOB CROW

 

There was a man who held his ground.
Fought every inch, and won the day.
His legacy, his members’ lot:
Good work conditions, decent pay.
By Tories and their tabloid dupes
And those who seek more than their share
Just like Millwall, his favourite team,
He wasn’t liked, and didn’t care.

 

But those who worked in transport knew
Their leader stood right by their side.
No management could lay them low:
They wore their union badge with pride.
He spoke for passengers as well:
Safety, not profit, always first.
Opposing fatal funding cuts –
Paddington, Potters Bar the worst.

 

Bob Crow. A boxer’s grandson, he:
Led with the left and packed a punch.
The bosses knew he’d take them on:
No smarmy smile, no cosy lunch.
We need more like him, that’s for sure:
Upfront and honest to the last.
He bargained hard and kept his word.
A union leader unsurpassed.

 

As zero hours contracts grow
And bosses offer Hobson’s choice
Let us not mourn, but organize:
Get off our knees and find our voice!
This man worked hard for workers’ rights:
A fair wage, a safe, steady job.
So join a union and stand firm.
That’s the best way to honour Bob.

 

Copyright © 2014. Attila the Stockbroker
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.