"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
Khalil Gibran

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Handflower ~ Sonnet

The Hands - Edvard Munch (1893)

In this night’s dark stain, come, lay beside me;
I will take you, man without a name,
who turns his face away and bites my shoulder,
who needs but cannot bear the bitter dregs.

I will carry your weight, as every sister
who wore the handflower became the bangle,
learned to spread her bones and sink beneath
the waves of each particular obsession.

Curses follow me of those who fear my right
and shudder to know the love I count in minutes
of every hour, who spit their gall where I laugh.

This flesh is mine, it has bled, and shed,
like a snakeskin every unworthy touch
and kept for itself, the taste of one kiss.


Literary Excursions in The Imaginary Garden focuses on the device used by Rainer Maria Rilke of employing imagery which portrays humans in terms of things.

The handflower is a 'slave bracelet' worn between wrist and fingers and the bangle or 'manilla', worn above the elbow, was a form of currency in the slave trade.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Talking Drums

Improvisation 6 (African)
Wassily Kandinsky (1909)
Fair Use Principles


A woman comes to the village
where a child squats in the dust
and says, “I hunger.”
The boy is silent, cut from stone,
eyes hidden behind his fingers
not more than a figment of earth with shaven skull.
“I thirst.”
A body as sinewy as drought
bird thin bones, and large, old hands
cradling a calabash
and a boy raising his face to the sky
“Will you sing to me?”


Two ancient men sit hunched,
backs to a slab of ochre.
Their story is written
in shades of sand and blood
but they shun conversation, shrug off flies,
eyes shuttered
like corrugated iron windows.


Who has not known the loneliness
of a single candle,
a stray dog, one chicken
on the wrong side of the fence?
You shoulder the baggage of sleepless nights,
look to the end of the road
beyond this peeling door, this hiatus,
and all the while the talking drums
are calling someone else’s name.