In a rusting coffee tin

yesterday
there were things to be said,
words to be poured like soothing balm, like hungry fire,
like unctuous oblations,
but I hear footsteps in the corridor ;

yesterday we stripped identities,
let me not be who I was,
let me not be who I became,
blindfold me, gag my god,
here take this, every original thought
I saved in a rusting coffee tin,
thoughts that never chanced the light,
accidents occur in the open air,
thoughts mutate, grow wings sometimes,
or fins, learn to swim through opaque slime,
so I left them in their raw nakedness
smeared with the blood of their birth,
there are words to be forgotten like impotent rage, like mute protests
like bent-knee euphemisms,
but I feel the hot breath on my neck;

yesterday we wondered what matters,
the sea is not judgemental
but it provides no direction,
the sky is temperamental,
a shifting constant still not revealing
the space above it,
the husk of mirage over seeds of truth
peels a little in the passion of broken fingers,
astringent voices coat the air between stars
for a brief moment,
fellow passengers on a train that cannot leave its rails,
the shells we build crack and crumble
not under marble pestles
but from within as we kick to unbind arms and legs,
there are words to be saved like secret talismans, like ancient prophecies,
like virgin tomorrows,
but I feel the steel of the twisting knife;

yesterday we were silent,
there were things to be said.

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46 thoughts on “In a rusting coffee tin

    1. Thanks Ryan… I think many people have faced prejudice of some sort of the other .. it can rankle for a very long time bring so grossly unfair and inappropriate. Colour, gender, class… It’s just sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. How do you do that? You’ve read my mind, caught my mood and turned them into a powerful poem! I love the lines:

    ‘yesterday we stripped identities,
    let me not be who I was,
    let me not be who I became,
    blindfold me, gag my god,
    here take this, every original thought
    I saved in a rusting coffee tin’
    and ,
    ‘the husk of mirage over seeds of truth
    peels a little in the passion of broken fingers,
    astringent voices coat the air between stars
    for a brief moment’.

    Like

  2. I love this too and it can pertain to so many times when our voices were silent, when our identities were abused…many atrocities occur when we grow complacent and quiet. So beautifully put!

    Like

  3. To me this poem connects with Grace’s, about our dire duty as poets, even as we “feel the steel of twisting knife.” We have power to let others feel it too, i.e., give the blessing of compassion. I love this poem.

    Like

  4. All wonderful, esp this “there are words to be saved like secret talismans, like ancient prophecies,
    like virgin tomorrows,
    but I feel the steel of the twisting knife;”

    Like

  5. Wow! Poetic fire, speaks to so many burning sentiments, capturing the power of thoughts and words…oppressed, suppressed, silenced and let go. We are all in this together. Our words sometimes strangled by the depth of sadness that is our world.

    Like

  6. So much opaque slime around, so much hiding of thoughts and words in rusting coffee tins… And so many excellent, very vivid and visual metaphors to convey your regret and anger. Wonderful!

    Like

  7. So sorry, unexpected visitors last night have made me rather late in responding to your piece. Strong gritty writing here that certainly carries a punch…

    Like

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