Sun in your Eyes

My humble contribution to World Poetry Day…

 

20170313_145157Contrary to popular belief

the sun rises and falls on all the land

in its time: the advantages of

a globe not being flat.

 

Meteorologists smile as they chirp

prayers to Celestia in asphalt temples

doused in snow, and aborted fields

left flat as spiritualists in the dust.

 

Sunlight looks different mirrored in clouds

than hazed by the shutters of a cardboard box

but it is still there, lapping at the waves

which sing it to sleep each night.

 

Bugs answer to the sun.

They revel in the eroticism of its

muggy kisses on the water, or when it cries

through grey-streaked embraces.

 

There is no mountain on which it does not smile

balanced like a ballerina, poised

for an insistent flight above the tree line

out of the shadows memories cast.

 

It burns with its desires for men

warming their small, dark rock

in the hopes that they will look

yet cursed to see the blindness

 

in their eyes, the meager shades

which cultivate absences in history:

they speak in whispers of the sun

like to each it is their own dark secret.

Sand Castle Oracles

An oracle set a castle in my palm.

It was the blessing, she said, for old souls

writ childish by a world that no longer

valued stories or fortunes.

 

I kept my hands cupped for hours after

she called the next old soul and the next

and I stared at the castle I had longed for

as the wind ate it away, grain by grain.

 

It reminded me of the sea,

10 dollars for a glimpse of childhood

misbegotten, when the waves carried me

away, and the world never knew my name.

Yesterday, I Walked

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From the Women’s March on Lansing, Michigan

Yesterday I walked along

what I expected to be a lonely road.

The fog was thick, the dawn was grey

and everywhere the voices, distant

ringing from a moon-blanched land

where winter gripped the roots.

 

Yet not a snowflake fell.

The ground was naked where I walked

stripped bare by the marching feet of folk—

men, women, the breaths of all those

cast aside by category and by creed,

a tremulous cadence striding by ones and twos

into a mass where silence could not reach.

 

I stood a while, by and by,

listening to the notes that misery had stirred,

and in the notes I hear the tearing cries

of history’s ebb and flow,

which built upon a thought suppressed

by years of doubt and faith.

 

No longer.

The dam has broken,

stripped away the vast edged lips that said

“Look at all the Other Things that you could do

Listen to the stillness and know that you are one

In an endless sea.”

 

Well they were right, weren’t they?

But the vastness does not belong to them,

it is a gathered voice, built of tears and edged

by staggered breaths no longer afraid to roar:

we have clothed ourselves for winter

and found that we have stamped it into spring.

 

Let it be true, let the world open its dreams

to you and I, the various, the beautiful, the bold

no longer alone, but crying out

not for the world they know but a world demanded

from the ignorant and the certain empowered

by an army built on hope.

 

Come away, come away from the lash of false praise

they dig out to divert; come away, come away

from the salt they sprinkle to tire and divide;

come away, come away with diligence,

listen to the voices of the sea, to the sirens singing

each to each, and know:

you are not alone.

(Yesterday, I walked with the thousands who converged for the Women’s March on Lansing, a part of the international Women’s March movement–something that turned out to be the largest protest in the history of the United States. But the actions cannot stop there. It is a beginning. But one that should demonstrate to all those who could make it and all those who watched that they are not alone. It showed millions how to forge connections beyond the bubbles we so often throw up, and learn how to effect real change: together.)

Nothing to Fear

We are taught there is something to be feared

in the beast which loses fear, which wanders

daylight and asphalt, even under baking skies.

 

If man has not tamed it, such fearlessness

is unbecoming, untrustworthy, like a savage

braving bramble paths and frosted fields

 

to bring some piece of its home

into new worlds. Without question,

 

we are told this evolution should know death,

a brand by bullet to mark the boundaries

of civilization and the Wild

 

ostensibly to protect us from the wildfires

of evolution. In truth, to burn in a pit

the wanderlust which eats away our insides.

(A response to news of a coming move against the Endangered Species Act: http://theslot.jezebel.com/republicans-are-coming-for-the-endangered-animals-1791331284)

So Shall It Be Written

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Witches by Hans Baldung, 1508

Where is it written in the fantasy:

witches are hideous?

 

Perhaps it was a girl immersed in light

but not people, storming the beaches

of the library, hunting power in faith.

 

Just because she speaks a foreign language

 

they look on the mother, world-weary,

father gunned down on the Yellow Brick Road

and remind her that she’s not good enough for dreams.

 

That witches are always the villains,

that reality will clutter wet pages.

Endurance

(Frankly, our world has too much hate. Let this be an echoing, reverberating TO HELL WITH YOU to anyone who spends their life in hatred of others, who builds themselves up through destruction. This world was meant for us to grow together, not to tear each other down.)

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Picture by Stanley Dai; Poetry by Chris Galford

 

By Charlie Hang
By Charlie Hang
By João Silas
By Joao Silas