The skin of resistance

The air is the texture of rebellion. The sun smells of
afterbirth. Cries for freedom knock on the horizon,

over and over like hammer-song. This resurrection
demands its price — bones and blood and an endless

river with neither face nor limb. You write without
words or ink. Metaphors flatten. The sky wants to

eviscerate language. When you write about people,
their souls disappear into the spaces between lines.

When you write about souls, death watches, already
a period at the end of an inert sentence. When you

write about death, freedom holds your wrist, asking
if you dare voice the truth. Truth is the rough skin of

resistance. When you write about resistance, truth
is already mouthing your poems from street corners.


But there is the manifest form with all its imperfections,
and an amorphous mind, soul you call it, consciousness,

being, a viscous cloud of fear and time and knowing; one
the sum of the past trapped in tired skin, the wind of millennia

beginning to erode its edges as it does mountains and earth,
the other still learning, still yearning, an aggregation of

everything wrong and something right. Yet what is your love
that arches its body and frees its limbs and lets its eyes fill with

the light of invisible suns, when I remember another that can’t
be held except by another emptiness, the edges dark with the

warmth of stars that must have once lived; who mourns these
dead stars, love, who knows that the absent, the unseen, is

accentuating the immediacy, the salted curves of the present?
What is my aching form but what your mind gives my body?

Micropoetry Month: Nov 2017: #13

Micropoetry MonthSome ekphrastic poetry today.  Add to the thousand words the picture already says! Find an image that inspires you and write about it using any form of micropoetry. Share your poem using comments or Mister Linky.

This poem was just published at  Visual Verse (Chapter 1 of Vol 5, Nov 2017).


I haggled like a regular
at a Turkish bazaar,
who pays top rate
for used things anyway,
see that verdigris
inching around the bottom?
He gave it to me in the end
in an oily brown paper bag,
the smell of the past
still trapped in it.
It wasn’t until later,
the wine still warm in my hand,
the moon in my throat,
that I let the tears fall.
After all, alone can be lonely
even in the company
of a battered
half-price soul.


Night is Coming

you have a vantage point,
your head low in the grass,
to catch a glimpse of them turning,
wheel after wheel,
as they cross the horizon,
the peloton cloaked in black,
lettered in the blood of everything
that did not dare to speak,
the cycle of hate,
the cycle of destruction,
stuck in one whirling spoke,
the wounded soul of all humanity,

and you watch them go,
picking up speed,
as if they will step off the sky,
as if they will drop off the brink,

hoping one day you can lift your face,
drawn black in mud and tears,
hoping one day the race will end,
and you can inter your fears,

remember you came here
to find those roads,
but you stood in the sidelines,
and cheered till you could
watch no more,
remember you came here
to fit wings on your dreams,
but you lay in the green,
and cried until you could
laugh no more,
remember you came here
to share the breath of the sun,
but you hid in the hollows,
and counted the dead
until you could live no more,

the light shifts, uneasy,
the shadows rise into the air,
faster, faster,
as they cross the horizon,
wheel after wheel,
the cycle of hate,
the cycle of destruction,
the wind drops to the empty
spot by your side,
dry your tears, he says,
gather your remains,
bring out your last candle,

night is coming.

Purple Twilight

I’m collecting broken pieces,
sharp edges scattered on the floor,
the strange shards, the impossible dust,
no, even that sounds clichéd,
like a wounded wail silenced before its end;
who cries into nothingness?
how do you pick up mangled parts
and build yourself again,
without hands, without eyes?
I’m growing a new soul in a petri dish,

(not that I think much of souls)
but who can tell what was there, what is missing,
there’s that three legged cur
that scrounges for scraps by the temple wall,
does he realise
what those looks mean,
bemused, mocking,

the fleeting pity
before the devout rush in to find their god?
how does he pray for a leg
no one told him he must have?
I’m watching as that soul grows,
a purple stain like spreading twilight,
it has a voice now,
talking, talking all the time,
there, it says, there, you forgot that pasty bit,
without it, what will you be,
black resin, like melting night,
the darkness that was inside you,
put it back, glue it in,
without it, what can you be,
without it, how will you know the light?

I’m debating with a laboratory soul,
without a mouth, without lies,
scrounging for darkness in purple twilight,
with it, what should I be?

And the Sea

he pulled his trench coat closer,
kneeling on the dark promontory,
head bowed
as if in prayer;

below him the writhing sea moaned,
wrapped herself against unforgiving rock,
her damp mouth warm on his,
salt crusting on his trembling lips;
she arched again and came to him,
pushing the moon off her tulle covered face,
gathering the crystal studded sky
across her gleaming shoulders;
he cried out loud
as his fists closed
around the uncurled tresses of the night,
thrusting her away,
beseeching the wind
to numb the distance between them;

i could see him from where i stood,
his eyes never leaving the sea,
and the sea,
burying his soul in the slipping sand,
whispering promises in his ear,
calling him softly
with my eyes.

This Hour

watch how the candle burns, from the tallow of this hour
clocks stand with folded arms, how will time follow this hour

clouds and stars shut their eyes, bombs rain down on naked fear
who will count heads and limbs, red rivers overflow this hour

death cries into trembling hands, its lifeline smudged by tears
humanity twists up in smoke, charred souls bellow this hour

shredded screams like fireworks, streak across the swollen sky
one last child, one last wail, who will bear sorrow this hour

somewhere the world sleeps in peace, somewhere the flowers bloom
someone checks one more box, in a screen’s blue glow this hour

(In Ghazal format)
April:#32- 21/30

Soft Breath

just for a moment
the soft breath of the cosmos
warm against my soul

warm against my soul
the orange rhythm of dawn
exhaling the night

exhaling the night
an awakened day draws in
primordial air

primordial air
tells tales of a hundred lungs
like a traveller

like a traveller
the cosmos breathes in my soul
just for a moment

April:#26- 16/30


Alone he waits,
a monk
with a shackled soul
begging for release
at the door
of his own
blind to the cosmos
awake in his eyes.

Poetweet: Exactly 140 characters long including spaces and punctuation.
April:#10- 06/30