Friday, February 29, 2008

Forensic Science

Forensic Science

Note, Sir
the gentle depression on the sofa
where she sat, her arm draped on the backrest
Do photograph the vacuum;
It may tell you something.

The air shimmers -
She was here; I sense the form
and the quiet air still carries
the echoes of her voice;
can it be recorded?

Pick up that strand of black hair carefully,
with tweezers
Decipher the DNA
Reconstruct that beautiful face
that I may once again look and be lost

Ah! a wine glass! Evidence!
Handle it carefully, with a soft cloth;
capture her prints
and model her soft fingers
that I may hold them to my lips again.

Lipstick prints on a tissue!? Wonderful!
Are they identical, Sir,
to those placed on my eyebrows
so long ago? Those
that I failed to collect?

How will you find her?
She, the victim AND the murderer?
Go back in time, snatch her,
before she vanishes
into colourless memories.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Sea of Japan

The moon has waned today
to a mere speck of grey light
draped by red restless clouds

The salty winds in my town near the Sea of Japan
punctuated by your dark screams
As I bite into your dreams

tasting the purple blood of eternity.

Who hears them?

The mermaids have slept
In the dark green kelp
that floats for ever
and muffles your cries

The whales have gone away
with the currents
thinking sweet thoughts of your pain.
They shall be back next year
succulent bits of them
on your plate

The Octopii have descended deeper
All arms flailing
pretending to be you
As you try to die

In the morning
there shall be no blood
on those clean white sheets

Merely the impossible aroma
of the deep sea.

An Unheard Melody

An Unheard Melody

Where is that light, from the beacon
across vicissitudes, across pain so acute
skimming surfaces, reaching below
finding nothing, only the agony of solitude?
What lonely note is this, that flies across
distances and ticking clocks, to enter my mind?
When hearts have shrunk, grotesque wraiths have risen
trapping in mindless ether, this love - why must it bind?
What has cleaved through the atrophy of despair
seeking, seeking - and when not finding, severing?
Why have eyes closed, just when they should see
a light that falls, on a compass without bearing?
Reach out then, but do not seek to touch
The loneliness within, sacred, and so clean

This melody you alone must hear and then it must die

Like flowers growing under a dark sun, never to be seen

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Song of Oluadah

A Poem I wrote a couple of years ago

The Song of Oluadah

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Said Oluadah's Father:

Oluadah! Oluadah!
My son, my son!
Where are you?
Who took you away?
Oluadah! O Oluadah!
They say a white man dragged you away
and you walked on the water
and went away.
Say it is not true
Oluadah! Oluadah!

Said Oluadah:

Father! O Father!
I do not wish to say Goodbye
My children must know you
and I do not wish to go away
What shall I tell these men, O Father?

Said Oluadah's Father:

Oluadah! O Oluadah!
My son!
I wish to see your children
and their children
I wish to stroke their eyebrows
I wish to hold them to my chest
Do not go, my son!
Do not go!
Oluadah! Oluadah!

Said Oluadah:

Father! O Father!
They say I shall go to Savannah
They say I am worse than the dog
who died of sores in the village
These chains hold me to the wood
and I rock with the water
Can I not drown, O Father?
Can you not teach me how, O Father?

Said Oluadah's Father:

Oluadah! O Oluadah!
Come back my son!
Your mother grieves, your sister cries
The village is dark
Your friends dash their heads
against silent trees
asking for you
what shall I tell them, Oluadah?
What shall I tell
the leaves and the birds, Oluadah?

Said Oluadah:

Blood stains the rocking wood, O Father
So many die,
so many wish to die
I can hear them throw their bodies
and the sharks feast lazily
And ahead of us, I can hear
the sharks swim
waiting for my unborn children
Where are you, Father?
Where are you?

Said Oluadah's Father:

Oluadah! O Oluadah!
Come back, my son!
Take the chicken, take the yam
take the ripened fruit
what use are they to me without you?

Said Oluadah:

O Father!
They have tied a rope
around my neck
They have chained me to the planks
I have died
though they say they shall
sell me alive
No longer shall I see you, O Father!
No longer shall I sleep under your tree, O Father!
No longer shall I eat the ripe yams, O Father!

And you shall not hold your Grandchildren, O Father!

Oluadah! Oluadah!