Monday, 12 November 2018

A love song of ten windows

Lanil Kalubowila knew
he knew long before any of us did
he knew of blur and distinction
the arbitrariness of definition
for he had reached and crossed 
the boundaries of sanity, so defined
and in the exhilaration of insight, advised:

‘Learn a language, for it is a window’
and then he explained —
‘When you open the French window
you can travel to and with Victor Hugo!’
He did not elaborate and needn’t have,
for Voltaire, Baudelaire and Camus
and others whose names I did not know
announced their presence.

And today, thinking of windows
I remember him and I know
as he probably did
that windows were not just languages;
they opened to histories and memories,
loves that have been and have been thus defined
loves that came and went 
and in their ins and out exclaimed,
‘No, that which I am named is not what I am!’

I sit in a room of innumerable screens and mirrors
windows open of themselves or appear to do so,
one thought and one or more open
while one or more get shut
but a singularity of unknown origin 
deliver in the end a dark room
with a single open window
and a strange magnetism forbids approach
but nevertheless permits light
soft and fragrant, whispering 
‘it’s mine to give, I decide how much and when!”

So in that nondescript room
where ancient architectures shudder 
in delight tempered with anxiousness,
sprawled on a camp cot 
sweating out the seasonality of all things 
naked to the elemental invasion of tenderness
I hear it:
the sound of rain
speeding through tattered banners 
shattering the glasses of propriety 
burning, branding and polishing too
ridiculing the urgencies of desire,
first as ceremonial drum-roll
and then as the battering rams 
at the city gates:
‘I am the daughter of the sky 
I can take or give life,
I can sweep away all
and I can cleanse arteries and veins
clogged with doubt, disbelief and all notions of the impossible,
I can clear them out and let the blood flow
the purest there can be,
born of and born for love 
like nothing this world has known.’

It is the ultimate call
for the laying out of desire
to be honest beyond any honesty
the world has ever known:
‘I desire, yes I do!
a presence that’s immediate 
be it corporeal or otherwise,
a caress made of touch or touch-me-not
an embrace of arms, an envelopment with gaze
the clasp of words with words
and words then with meaning
and meaning thereafter with fingertips
with lips and all the symphonies of flesh on flesh;
I desire the dance of give and the dance of take
the union of exchange burning into the burning ice
of sharing, the melting of all things
the unity of love,
yes, I do desire!’

And then there was nothing
a house that was without walls
windows that had no window panes 
a tent without canvas;
gone, all gone
an enclosure without boundaries 
or markers that insisted, ‘this is “in” and that is “out”’
and it was in that transparent matrix 
that I first saw you,
naturally as words
words and thoughts
thoughts and arrival
arrival and conversation
conversation and proximity
proximity and flame
flame and inferno
inferno and ash
ash to ash and dust to dust
the making of flesh 
and the poetry of transformation
the transformation of verse
into stories never told
and the untold turning into the unspeakable,
the silence (what else?) of love.

In these landscapes
dotted with the sepulchral remains
of unrequited love and the languages of insanity
in these deserts where mirage upon mirage 
camouflaged the rare oasis
there were no stars to show the way
no maps or guides
just a smile that could mean anything
but was read thus:
‘explore me,
for behind the humble poetry of lips
there could be a universe containing all
or a warmth, humble and yet empowered
to deliver the the only ‘all’ that counts!’

I saw a heart in the middle of the year 2018
I saw it as a mural, sketched with past and future
I read the words that weren’t written
and I trembled for I knew, I knew, I knew
this was the insanity that made life worth living,
the impossible that was burning a tattoo on my heart
a legend that screamed
‘Possible! Possible! Possible!
and then erased it all with a smile
and in its place placed a single petal
of a flower I’ve never seen;
there was no burning and there was no ice
no volcanic ash, no glacial thrust 
just a petal unknown to the world 
something that might have said something I didn’t hear
something I didn’t understand,
but something which I took to mean, simply,
‘It is you and therefore it is us.’

That was the beginning of dreams,
from that moment onwards 
words that had been misplaced and misaddressed 
stirred in the missives of long and decrepit years
words swept out with the dust of loves that came apart
words congealed in lost archives 
randomly arranged in unnamed shelves 
words that had taken refuge in the temples of tenderness
hiding behind idols and the folds of curtains,
words robbed by one and all,
they returned,
and they arranged themselves at will
so I could give the poorest of gifts
and indeed the only one I had to give. 

And I announced:
‘I am ready to die,
I could die in the deepest ocean
crushed by waves and whipped by currents
but no, unnecessary is such force of strength 
I can perish in lesser waters
too marginal to mark on a map,
too shallow to drown a baby,
and yet deep enough for me’
and that was my humble submission.

A voice from a long time ago
returned as echo and warning
or perhaps invitation and challenge:
‘You are not you,
not the you of these years,
not the you who misread windows
not the you ignorant of insanity
not the you of sentencing and exile,
you are now winged,
you are no longer child of the earth
but the issue of soil and air,
you are eagle,
you are made to soar.’

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

The Ancient Testament on Revolution*

Say if after me or say it when you wish
ayanna, aayanna, iyanna, eeyanna
or say A, B, C, D if that comes easy
or if it rolls easier on the tongue  

It begins with right and wrong 
good and evil, but not legal and illegal
for men and women make rules 
and men and women are frail
no, it’s not god-given
no, it’s not perfect and immutable

Conscience doesn’t fall from the sky
but gathered from familiarity
it frames you and you’ll reframe by and by
but a good place to start
and from there, in baby steps
that come as questions

Awkward and sporadic ones,
conundrums that exhaust:
Do I condone or condemn?
What do I deny, what reaffirm?
At all costs or within budget?
Where’s the limit? What is ‘limit’?

It’s about saying ‘no’ 
as the only way of saying ‘yes’
yes, ‘yes’ to right, though you maybe wrong
‘yes’ to good because you know no better
but ‘yes’ therefore to peace of mind
and peaceful slumber at night. 

It could begin anywhere, for the world is complex and vast  
but ‘why?’ or ‘why not?’ are common enough starters
WHY did it happen this way? WHY was it done that way?
WHY couldn’t it have happened otherwise? 
WHY couldn’t it have been done some other way?
It brings us to the key Q: Where does ‘Why?’ come from? 

A general notion of right and wrong
a specific wrong that shocks or calls for pause 
an accident, an illness, misfortune unexpected 
these are the easy prompters of ‘no’
they hurt, feed disbelief  and make you say ‘dear god’
and affirm, pray and die for the opposite.

What agitates me, why do I take umbrage? 
There are a hundred who did not notice
there are a hundred who did not care,
but I did, I care and care enough;
so why did I and why don’t they,
Are they blind or are they coy, did I ask myself?

‘For the common good, for humanity 
for my children and the planet’s health,
these things tug at heart, such things compel,
not for me, not for me, not for me,
one for all, for all or nothing,
I swear by all that I hold dear!’

Community and solidarity,
things animate and inanimate
tangible and intangible, the future unattained 
all that is good and wholesome
against all that is not:
a good place to be, let us make it clear.

How did collective come to be privileged 
which privileges are more dear and why, did you ask?
For words are easy, alibis easier still 
justification the easiest thing on earth 
once blood boils and decision made;
the tough one is this: but why, in the first place? 

GENESIS: 12-16
There are a million things to do
and a million ways to do them
why did you pick ‘revolution’ 
why object when no one else would
why stand when it’s easier to sit
why not let sleeping dogs lie?

Because it’s the right thing to do
and because you gotta do the right thing, right?
It’s important to stand when everyone’s sitting
just so others know that standing is an option, right?
Yes, that’s a justification and as good as any
but consider this as an even more compelling case:

We stand because we cannot sit any more
we stand because that’s the only way 
we can earn the right to sit in peace one day
we stand not to show others how to stand
we stand whether the world appreciates or not
we stand because in standing we win the right to breathe

It is gut-reaction or is there time for any other reaction?
It is never predictable when the call could come
and remember it could be a wrong number
it could be a trap, for Big Brother is a planner:
Big Brother strategizes, purchases insurance
Big Brother is careful, covers all bases

Big Brother identifies pitfalls, thinks ahead and wants to know
who to purchase, who to neutralize, who to eliminate
and sometimes needs the grist of rebellion 
to keep the mills productive, did you know? 
This is why, the greatest revolutionaries often say
‘Read, study, understand’ for the Revolution is no tea party.

GENESIS: 17-20
You’ve shouted, you’ve said it short and sweet,
you’ve stood witness, you’ve made a stand
in the very least to yourself whispered 
‘this is wrong and this I do not condone,’
or ‘this is what gives meaning and morality
to me, now, and for always.’

The powers that be in their visibility
processes that be in their subtle design
they’ve not, as is often the case, stopped,
they’ve not said ‘you are right, we are wrong,’
they’ve not said ‘we erred and we shall offer redress.’
No, they’ve encountered objection and take note they will.

What next, you might wonder (if they give you the time),
you’ll know soon enough and if it’s all quiet, be wary
they know when to do what and how, that they do;
threat-level they’ll assess, they will SWOT-analyze
silent they could be, but don’t be disarmed 
for they know, usually, who to strike, when and how.

There’s the termination-option, frequently employed 
works in the corporates, works in other places too,
‘quit or else,’ works for the ‘or else’ can intimidate;
they can say it and say it without saying it,
cost-effectiveness is a subject they’ve mastered 
they make examples so others (will not) follow, remember. 

GENESIS: 21-25
You can second-guess yourself, it’s quite alright
we know something, but we know little 
and we have to make do with what we have:
knowledge, material and people
the ability to read terrain and signs, 
assess threat and potential, seize the moment.

You were born to live and it’s your choice
to fight or look away, to stand or sit, laugh or weep
you crawled before you walked, walked before you could tun
you were unsteady, fearful and assured and confident 
you fell, hurt yourself, were filled with self-doubt 
there must have been times when you had to ask,
‘What’s it all about? Is it really worth it? Should I give up?’
Well, that what revolution is all about, especially when it begins.

A spark does not illuminate the way a bonfire does
lightening it not like stadium lights 
sometimes the little thing is enough 
most times it’s the first spark that counts
it’s that one tiny strike of objection 
that can show pathways otherwise unseen

You may be small, a speck of dust,
but that, they say, is a universe; 
you may be innocent, but so too are children
and purity of heart is a tender and potent arsenal 
love and integrity will give poetry and thrust
they may not, don’t forget, tyranny overthrow.

And yet, it all begins with love, poetry that gives the spark
a little something that whispers ‘are you okay with all this?’
that’s the little grain of sand, the little drop of water
for there’s an earth to reclaim, an ocean to cross 
destinations are faraway but faraways are not unreachable 
not if you can fly, and you can and you will
the first step is the hardest because you might not be able to stop.

GENESIS: 26-30
So you’ve figured it all out now,
you know the why and the why not,
you know it’s about who you are 
and who you should be 
and what you’d be if you declined
and you’ve chosen to stand.

Have you asked, again,
‘is this the only ill in this ill-conceived world,
are there no other victims, but I
is it familiarity or proximity
the things that prick flesh
the things that stir mind from 
and suddenly yell, “this is wrong, so wrong!”?’

 Perhaps you’ve heard that line,
‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!”
It’s true, but it’s a half-truth which therefore is half a lie;
it means, in a way, ‘don’t settle for half-way measure,
go for broke, it’s all or nothing.’ and that’s a lie
for in this world you can bite only as much as you can chew.

And yet, it will not hurt to look around, to listen and breathe
for one learns from others and other battles also teach;
what were the terms of exploitation here,
why was this battle won and why indeed was it not fought,
did they assess marginal benefits against marginal costs
and find it was a better bet to submit, to run so you can fight again?

Did someone embrace the risk of one battle conceded leading to petrification
was the enemy too formidable, were there no friends with whom to stand?
What are the lessons of that defeat, why was that victory so brief
was it a half-chance that may have turned the fortunes on battlefield
what was there that is also here, what’s missing there that’s a factor here?
There’s a danger too, for if eye and mind stray too far, it could cost in the battle at hand.  

GENESIS: 31-35
It’s a journey, then, this revolution business
there’s a beginning and there’s a destination 
all mapped out in the heart and mind
with some sense of intangibles 
some essentials for the road
and full knowledge of hardships ahead

There would be some who might join
but among them, some would leave
and who can tell, perhaps you’ll walk alone
and that is the beginning of learning
not just about the fight at hand but all fights being fought 
the insults and humiliation that’s as intimate as breathing

Perhaps you’ll find that your wounds are benign
perhaps you’ll find that others have been fighting
the same fight that you fight and other will later fight
but in the vast flood plains of resistance 
you’ll find the ruins of once resolute hearts 
armies buried in unmarked graves, smothered with ash

And in that desolate country of defeat after defeat after defeat
there will nevertheless be blood streaked petals
that have transformed themselves into lyrical resistance 
there will be an old man and a child and other mad juxtapositions
a soldier who discovered at the point of cruelty a class-root
brotherhoods and sisterhoods putting forth buds in lost deserts

What of my quarrel now, you might ask yourself
for there will be a hundred reasons to abandon all
a hundred reasons to embrace the larger fight, the greater enemy
but in such moments of deep reflection and self-doubt
remember that root is root and yours is no less precious
located though it is in a vast subterranean matrix of entanglement.   

GENESIS: 36-40
So what face did the system wear when it frightened you first
was it a man or a woman and did you think it was a beast?
Did it come with a name, a designation or a disarming smile
did you notice the eyes and wonder ‘is this the real thing?’
did it nudge or shove, stare you down or dismiss with an insult?

It is never easy to tell, for the devil has many a cloak 
he comes as foe and at times as acquaintance or even friend
he is now by your side, calmly encouraging 
and later spurs you on towards precipice 
and in the end forces you to consider the vexed question:
“who is the devil and who am I?’

At the beginning it’s the outer layer that prompts
it is what seems or is apparent that raises ire
at the beginning there’s a red flag and a bull 
a face, a row of faces, the wrong-doing and the wrong
at the beginning there’s a multitude in your head
at the beginning, there could even be just that single voice,
something, someone, saying ‘you cannot be at peace.’

But things that begin, will flourish, will perish and decay
one thought is replaced by another, a fallen enemy will rise
a dead enemy will be reborn, there’s be other names 
sweeter sounds that cut mercilessly as before 
and in that orchestra of noise we have reason to believe
it is not unnatural for cacophony and symphony to switch

By and by things the shapeless takes shape
by and by the unnamed names itself
by and by we move beyond name to system and buttress
by and by we realize dimensions of tyranny 
by and by we realize dimension of resistance
by and by we all things solid will melt into air and we face ourselves. 

GENESIS: 41-45
It’s been a different kind of day, a moment unexpected —
something hit you between the eyes did it now?
Or was it that something utterly soft touched heart
touched with such tenderness that you trembled?
It has been a different day, that’s all that matters for now
and that which is out of the ordinary demands pause. 

Let us pause, my children, let us pause brothers and sisters
let us pause, friends, citizens and countrymen
let us stop and let us listen, let us see, let us feel
for we’ve had eyes that looked but didn’t see
fingers that touched but did not feel
we’ve had ears that did not hear but not for want of listening.

Let us walk now along untravelled pathways
cast glance at that which we are conditioned to shun
let us not stop at stop signs, let red lights not deter
let us instead stop when we are nudged or pushed
let us flip the script of being, of seeing, hearing  and touching
let us think the unthinkable, touch the touch-me-nots.

There are households ablaze though you won’t see a flame
there are callouses growing as I write, but they don’t announce
‘Here I am, come see the trace that life imprints on hands!’
Extraction is sanitized in many ways, and villainy too
but the political economy of such things are not invisible
it’s there in the vacancy of eyes and the skin-burn of sufferance. 

Where did you read about injustice and deceit
where of insult and humiliation, the blaming of victims
who said it first, do you remember and did you ask
‘now why was it said at this time by this person?’
Did you rush out of doors to witness oppression 
and did you see that what was announced was an iceberg tip?

GENESIS: 46-50
Stop! Ask again, ‘where did it all begin? When did it all begin?’
You didn’t start the fire but then again, perhaps you did
but then again, with respect to flame, it can as you know
a forest fire ignite or the universe illuminate
do not be hard on yourself, for hardness you will know
the pain may take form and intensity unanticipated.

But where did it begin and how and when, you may ask:
there’s an arrow embedded in flesh, this you know,
it would be good to know the owner of the bow
and the safe territories from whence it was sent 
but the flesh burns, the poison works, and at some point
so the sages say, it is best to treat the wound.

But where did it begin and when, you’ll ask again:
from which window was the first arrow shot
who was it that set fire to the thicket out of fear or delight 
why do things have to burn, why must heart poison receive
what that the only flame, and is it fire and arrow alone that burn
each arrow is a thousand questions and they have to be answered.

But there did it begin and when, you’ll ask again:
there will be answers, and some will come dressed as question
there will be further question too, this time as answers
so consider them all, for revolution is both, an answer and a question
a conversation and at times a monologue, in a crowd or in solitude
life is not kind, old questions are reborn, like revolution and love.

But where did it begin and when, you’ll ask again:
it was born, if you must know, with a drop of poetry
a line, a song, an embroidery and a tourniquet 
a bolt of lightening that illuminated but for a moment
a something small that revealed insufferable and possible
and that infancy you could not but nurture, for it gave breath to you.

So they’ve taught you the word, the history and the politics
they said it’s about the many, the coercion, the helplessness 
they’ve used genocide as add-on and ethnic-cleansing too
they’ve said it over and over again, they’ve had purpose too
make no mistake, for injustice suffered is an old wound
it can be milked, made to bleed and is alibi for ‘return in kind’ plus interest. 

The word is ‘departure’ and that’s basic, primordial and evermore 
for it is about reaching a singular point that screams or whispers:
‘I cannot stay, I should not stay and I will not stay
not in the way I stayed or went before, no, no more, this is it.’
In other words, you’ve decided to leave the path
the prearranged, the agreed upon, the ‘right way’ you’ve been taught.

Remember this: there will be a million reasons not to stray
all logical, all defensible and all leading to safety if not glory 
low cost, low-maintenance, less risk, less pain, less heartache
it’s a crossroads that others have arrived at long before you
it’s not the first you’ve encountered and there will be others later on
it’s a crossroad, however, that made you stop, a point of departure in the end.

The road less traveled may hold delights of its own
colors better named or so new that they offer coinage privilege 
the road less traveled is an adventure waiting for you
it is an excitement yet not experienced, perhaps by none
an allure enough for the young armed with exuberance 
and you might tell yourself, ‘though unknown it’s inviting enough.’

But who are we kidding here, for well we know it’s not for nothing
that the road well-traveled is, well, well-travelled and lined with delight 
‘Delight’ however, only under specific conditions, conformities and affirmation,
there’s a covenant and there’s submission, things to swallow, grin and bear,
for it’s easy to look away, to pretend you didn’t see, to swear there was nothing to see
for what joy is there in letting the blood of others spoil our feast, in fighting another’s cause? 

EXODUS: 6-10
You can stay or you can leave, stand up or sit, speak or be silent
there are times when you have to go in order to stay
and then again if you stay, it means you’ve gone forever
so you decide: stay or leave, speak up or forever remain silent
stand up, stand up, stand up to defend truths believed 
and then you will know that it’s not just about you, but everyone else

You stand up, and you leave others sitting down
you speak up, and you identify those who are silent
you leave and in leaving, others you will leave behind
It’s not just to the status quo you say ‘goodbye’
for from the moment of departure, all things are transformed
friends, relations, colleagues, places, contexts and all.

There are new eyes looking at you, there are new ears listening
and behind familiar faces are minds that think the unfamiliar 
“who is this who says and is silent, does and declines
what mystery and monster has lurked among us?”
For they may not know you, but you’ve nevertheless named
you’ve framed them, forced them to question you, and more inconveniently, themselves.

It’s the same world around you, same faces and streets
they’ve retained their names no doubt, but they are not the same,
for your eyes you’ve exchanged and so too your ears, 
where there was seeing before there is insight now
then there was assuredness and now there’s doubt
before real and artificial were one, and now it’s different
things have jumped out of silhouette and shadow and this makes for unease.

Departure is turning point but the point thereafter leads not to elysian fields
all known things become unknown and some even unknowable
blemish surfaces and knots and cracks upon polished countenances
that which seemed perfectly arranged is now bent or angled or twisted 
and everything will carry signatures that crumble and invitations to examine:
you’ve departed and you’ve stayed; only, now you see chasms and wonder about depth. 

EXODUS: 11-15
Is the grass on the other side greener, is the voodoo magic stronger
what demons and gods do you think you’ll meet 
what flowers, colors and rainbows, what monsoons and droughts
what poverties and riches, empowerment and helplessness
what deserts did you think you’ll have to wander in and for how long
what oases and wells, strangers kind and indifferent, what creatures?

Out there in the necessary exile ordained by conviction and decision
out there in solitudes anticipated or unimagined 
out there where dewdrops are few and is rough on tongue and bitter
where you will imagine hunger and thirst to be sweet and inevitable price
out there where the book of life is an exercise book with blank pages
out there you shall most definitely encounter The Mirror.

It will not come as glass with mercury, will not offer familiar reflection  
it will at first celebrate the departure, whisper ‘hero, hero of our times’
it will dress you in the garb of the savior, it will manufacture crowds
adoring masses chanting you name convinced of divinity 
they will convince non-believers, condemn the unconvinced
they will stand guard against those who would in ignorance harm.

In the blink of an eye, with the take and give of breath, they’ll be gone
no following, no cheers, no halo, no garb gold-thread lined
no hosannas, no whispers even, no one to to offer water or kerchief 
just the growling of suspecting dogs, the wailing of cats
spears sharp, hands firm and ready to throw, and words
a monsoonal downpour of harsh, dismissive, threatening, determined words.

‘Turn back! Turn back! This is not your time, this is not your fight!’
Did not the wind scream objection, did not the soil slip and make you fall?
This is the first formidable wall you will encounter, the first of many
there will be people, roses and thorns, roses as thorns and vice versa 
there will be soft sand for the eye and beneath it hard and uneven gravel, 
sweet voices that in an instant grows harsh, wine that’s laced with poison.

EXODUS: 16-20
The territory of banishment is dull, and even dead, they would have told you
dust lays thick on forgotten architectures, broken things abound
there may have been others who’ve ventured or were banished
they may have left a trace, a footprint here and a footprint there
some sign of being, of passing and moving on (or back to servility)
and in that desolate land will you find the finest of fine universities.

Exile is not the desert that desolate landscapes promise
for even the rare blade of grass has lessons to teach
yes, even specks of dust, unending squalor and solitude
come ready with wisdom drops left behind by those who came before
every creature, wild, wonderful and menacing
and even a gust of wind and the scorching sun will teach.

Here you will learn of subterfuge, the play of disguise and deceit
the play of power and powerlessness, aggression and resistance
things that can and will be contested, things you have to live by
things that you must let go in the marginality of cost and benefit
mountains that can be moved and mountains that will not budge
a plant that points to water, birds and insects that tell of rain.

There’s a treatise of survival at every turn, in every nook and cranny
but first, you would do well to stop, for you can’t turn the earth 
there’s no handle to start or stop the natural cycles
for water will come and go, flow and stay at its own pace
so too the wind, in its gush and whisper, silence and scream
so too fire and earth, the one in randomness and the other in immovability.

Here you will learn that virtues of silence and stillness, the ace of understatement
for there are times when you must go out to war, pick up gauntlet and fight
and there are times to let the enemy come to you and ace with readiness 
there will be need to read signs fast, for split-second decision is at times demanded
but first, and foremost, you need to read them slow, for not all is revealed at once
and not all the prods and digs will unearth the lost archaeological tracts of reading.

EXODUS: 21-25 
How much of you did you leave behind and how much did you keep
what happened to the you that left and who is the you that you are now
did distance give you silhouette or detail, surface or depth
in the transformation of perspective did battle seem trivial
did it loom larger than the mountain, flow as ripple or an ocean’s roar
did you see ant and anthill, the warrior, the war and these as drops of sorrow?

Where did the blood brothers and blood sisters go, what happened to family
where is that moment fragranced by love, longing and despair
what of the longitudes and latitudes of mercy, the soft moments of respite
and those landscapes of clinical neatness that hid the world’s squalor 
the statues and urban fragments that spoke back-stories no one listened to
and the storybook characters who left a trace on children who never grew up?

There’s a question at every turn, each footstep yields a yarn and a riddle
some are answerable and the answers to others will elude you 
do not despair, for these are time bombs whose time may come,
for the palms of the exiled they take root, put out buds and thorns
weapons all, like words that are titled for effect, a smile and gaze even
scriptures will sprout at will, by and by, but it takes time and insomniac years.

So where is that terrible desert, where the unforgiving glacial lands
and which map marked the river of cataracts, jagged edged mountains
the acidic and glass-shard strews littoral that would and did cut the sole
those skies filled with crows and bats, daytime and night, 
ready to drop and splatter and make you stink and revulsive,
the long corridors and the prison cells you never thoughts would be home?

Sand there is and it is hot, but it’s not called that name 
glaciers too and they would burn through the hardiest boots
and no, they would not be made of ice or carry related metaphors 
pebbled beaches hard on the eyes, and crow-shit days, weeks and months,
and the narrowest hallways barbed wired, and the darkest of solitary cells
they will come named but not in languages familiar, none of them.

*This is a series written for the 'HAPPINEZ' section of 'THE SUNDAY MORNING' newspaper.  I'll keep adding each week's submission.