Somehow the leaves never caught up
With the spring in my mother’s fingers,
And the newspaper lost a headline.
We collected seasons like a prayer,
and we were aware we were no Gods,
but the air remembered to leave
its dirty shoes behind
before entering our mouths.
Worms inhaled slowly, and died without knowledge,
and if we came from the same earth,
my father’s music would be the only music I’d love
but I already missed a note behind.
How do you run to catch a whistle that you cannot hear anymore?
How do you run to listen to the wind?
Tell me, how do you run to save an autumn you’ve left so far behind.
And to say the least, I’m still,
A canvas floating in the air, as a city is pushed
Into the hungry mouth of a burning river.
Sometimes, they say, beauty is in the air around you,
And I forget breathing.
Bones like fish compete to swim,
And a mother becomes a body finishing the race.
But that is not certain, and to say the least,
I’m still – a breeze stuck between falling leaves,
A shadow caught beneath a wish
A dance sometimes forgotten
By a blade.
“It shouldn’t require a Syrian man on camera holding his dead twin infants for the rest of the world to pay attention”- A Daily Beast Reporter.
Add that to the report :
Some of the stars washed up
In small shoes*
Missing link to full report :
Some of the shoes point forward,
Or, some of the shoes grace heavenward,
Or, some of the shoes tie their necks around their own bodies,
And casually leave the laces open.
Death is sometimes a repose of the soul,
A scattered seconds hand that finally sleeps,
A vehicle that empties all of its fuel one night
A check-post where the guards
Have busied themselves with a radio
A child switches on the TV,
And watches his own burial begin,
Before the end of a spring when he was born.
A bomb drops and casually mistakes lives
for a toll booth, a runway,
and taxiing is an act known only by hands clasping
today, forgetting the name of their god.
Add that to the report :
Somewhere, a star lies,
its toes still playing with water beneath its shoes.
*The first lines are the last line of Maggie Smith’s Small Shoes.
Sooner or later,
some hands will need
second hand gloves, worn by gods
who have seen what snow looks like.
When that happens,
a daisy will bloom and die.
Run to catch its breath,
your gloves pulled back on,
& even the fireplace melting the ice
under your skin, will wait for you.
Hope dangles delicately through the air
The drawing room is suddenly still,
A postcard is a symbol of an urgent prayer
Senders beware, there is no address in the receiving corner,
And heaven is a country, with too many families building homes.
I’m mid-way, a coin tossed,
A wish clinging like an old cardigan,
A nervous count to a verdict,
Each number whispering –
Stay. Stay. Stay.
(*Written from the point of view of a coin in mid-air).
Welcome to the planet :
This is where the bee sits quietly by the shore,
Do not mistake its sting for a lesson,
A mountain rising in your palm to climb to,
A boat passing by and turning into a photograph,
A fisherman carrying an empty net home.
This is where morning enters soundlessly through the window,
Do not mistake its recurrence for an opportunity,
A wave erasing a wish from the sand,
A bird sharpening its beak for lunch,
A bus arriving five minutes late to the depot.
This is where the god watches silently through the sky,
Do not mistake his temper for an answer,
A storm entering your father’s coffee,
A lightning stuck beneath the pillows,
A rain flooding your home.
My father named me Taka,
Swahili for dirt,
Or in the land of Pride,
A father left his son in the frozen hands
Of a shameful river.
Brother, have you listened to the sound
Of a femur breaking from the weight of a second son?
A nerve losing its way,
In a field uglier than its own spit,
Or a fireplace becoming a thumbnail
Of a land burning.
What is a leader if not a mouthpiece
For a kingdom in flames.
What is a king if not a mirror
To watch the lungs of his brother explode.
What is a scar if not meant,
To reveal the opening of a bleeding wound.
(Written from the point of view of Scar, from The Lion King)
If the Earth were flat,
Our prayers would be orbits
Ballet dancing to become bridges,
So we could moonwalk into the night sky.
There is no jesus underwater
Or in outer space
But we keep praying anyway
Our toes lift us for the jump,
And just before we make the leap,
We have already fallen asleep,
Lazy in our space suits,
Our oxygen masks become
We float like fishes
And broken wings,
We dream like boats
And when the fall finally ends,
And the sky is still,
We will wake up with our eyes closed,
But glinting beneath the muddy palms of the earth.
When you wake up tomorrow,
will you still not take the wind seriously?
a knock, a warning,
a homecoming of a torn planet
a country that reeks
because of its closed gutters,
a city that burns when you open up its bones.