Category Archives: Poems

Shifts

I am far away now

from everything familiar

It’s after sundown, dark

The air smells of smoke

heavy from bamboo smouldering

Crickets are singing, or katydids

And something else

A woman’s voice rising out of the darkness

Over there near the fields

we rode bicycles past today

She sings

or keens

The melody is in a minor key but

I don’t understand the language

Perhaps it’s a lullaby

I am lying here in this hammock

a young attendant just brought by and hung for me

It’s in that army camouflage pattern

In the courtyard, I saw samples of bombs

grenades and land mines recovered from the landscape here

I am looking at my familiar from a distance

From another angle

This location in the world

I am reading Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

I read it before, a long time ago

It seemed like brilliant fantasy work then

Science Fiction, a Fantastic Tale

It doesn’t seem like fantasy now, this time

I’ve felt the breath of Possibility.

Have I changed so?

Or has the World changed?

Maybe I have been sleeping

Maybe I’m just waking up.

Rising

image

For skeletons

of lonely children

fleeing villainous tormentors

welcoming final escape

embracing relief of innocent death

cradled now by pure Mother Earth

in graves unmarked

names lost or changed or unknown—

we sing our mourning song

we offer quiet Freedom Tears

we chant in voices that will not relent

we hold each one within this soft sacred circle

where humanity emerges the victor

where their names again are whispered

where they rise to be printed in the stars

with love and sorrow and remembrance and hope

we will never forget:

You are not alone

You are not alone.