The Glade – poem

Today a weeping willow caressed my feet
While I weathered a storm in my mind.
A shrouded breeze flew around me, and I
Lost my axe to the shuffling leaves.

In this garden of rustling blankets,
Our bodies bend: our roots go deep.
Come to the glade, where sunshine and tree
Dance through the tempest
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO – Disarming me.

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Demolishing Starlight – poem

My flat is a few streets away from Las Ramblas, where the Barcelona attack took place last week. This is a smallish city, and I had friends who were close by. No-one I knew was harmed, but plenty of people were harmed or killed. I didn’t want to post at the time because I did not want to direct web traffic towards me. I wanted to leave the space for relatives of those harmed.

The same day as the attacks, just before them, I had written a poem that reflects on the disconnectedness of humans from each other and from nature. However we explain the root of this mass murder and others like it, there is a fundamental disconnectedness involved. A lack of empathy and recognition that I am you, that we are all the same; and the lack of empathy is present in powerful governments around the world, not just the attackers. They are the ugly face of a deep human problem. I wanted to share the poem so that this could be heard.

Demolishing Starlight

In a city,
Ravaged shreds of ideas
Conflate in a network of unknowns.

Action and re-action, a tornado in a square
Yard, pumping carbon into skies,
Deflated vistas, angry eyes.

Life all around with nature on shutdown:
Tropic of Cancer lost the midday sun to a
Rash of humans, substituting people with
Things, demolishing starlight.

Poem: ‘Eaux errantes’

Here’s another poem from my French ‘Slam dit bien’ poetry group. I’ve done a rough translation to English, which is below!

Eaux errantes

Eaux errantes
D’où
Emanez-vous?

De goutte à goutte
Vous picotez
La surface
Sur laquelle vous atterrissez

Vous prenez le chemin
de la moindre résistance
Avec le plus de gravité

Par sagesse
Ou par simple paresse ?
On ne saura jamais

Mais dans le procédé
Vous nous rendez
Mouillés, trempés

Et puis, ça y est !
Vous vous en allez
En vous évaporant

Finalement,
Quand l’humeur vous prend,
Vous recommencez.

English version:

Wandering Waters

Wandering waters,
where do you
come from?

Drop by drop, you
peck the surface
you land on

Taking the path of
least resistance
with the most
gravity

Wisdom, or
laziness?
We’ll never know.

But – in the process –
you dampen and
soak us

And that’s it!
You depart by
evaporating

Eventually, when the
mood takes you,
you start again.

SLAM'DIT BIEN

de Siobhan Tebbs

Eaux errantes
D’où
Emanez-vous?

De goutte à goutte
Vous picotez
La surface
Sur laquelle vous atterrissez

Vous prenez le chemin
de la moindre résistance
Avec le plus de gravité

Par sagesse
Ou par simple paresse ?
On ne saura jamais

Mais dans le procédé
Vous nous rendez
Mouillés, trempés

Et puis, ça y est !
Vous vous en allez
En vous évaporant

Finalement,
Quand l’humeur vous prend,
Vous recommencez.

https://siobhantebbs.wordpress.com

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Poem: ‘Bracelets seem as though we had been making them’

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Bracelets seem as though we had been making them:
Smothering wire and tiny stones, altering outcomes,
Batting away flies. Safety lies in such focus. Twisting
Transience into silent braids; naming every child;
Blackmailing beaded misfits into shape. We’ll die
Surburbanites, tied to inborn courtship of our trades.

La poésie

‘Francophone’: the state of being a French-speaker without necessarily being French.

Writing in your second language is harder because the expressions make the journey from heart to mind (and from feelings to words) less organically. You have to push a bit and rummage about. It can also be more fun, because you’re less limited by painful awareness of the social and linguistic nuances of what you’re saying. You put less pressure on yourself to get it right because it’s a bit of a shot in the dark anyway. Result? More freedom.

At the recent International Day for Francophonie, there was an open mic in Barcelona. We did some poems.

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Here is me.

 

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Here is a poem of mine, with translation below.

 

Une chanson sourde
Pour les syriens,
dont le monde
ne se souvient
que lorsqu’ils sont
a la une.
Ecoutez!
Écoutez les larmes qui coulent dans nos ventres
On les digère si doucement
par peur que ça s’entende
Par peur que tout s’effondre
Mais nos cœurs ne chantent qu’une chanson sourde
Ne croit-on plus aux mélodies:
Ne sait-on plus qu’elles dissolvent les armes?
Moi, j’en ai marre de ce silence fatale
Qui consume mon énergie et mon être
Et nos enfants? Si on se tait,
On va les noyer la-dedans!
Vaut mieux qu’ils les entendent,
Nos cris et nos gémissements
Ils trouveront la fraîcheur dans la douche
De nos lamentations
Si cette cage possède encore sa batterie
Dans la nuit, la meme que celle de ceux qui souffrent,
On accueillera l’aria de la lune
Et les clochettes des étoiles, et la sonnerie du ciel
Ne cessons-pas de battre le tempo du chagrin
Pour que ceux qui viennent de nos ventres
Aient le coeur fait de musique
Et salés par nos larmes
Unheard Song
 
For Syrians,
Whom the world
Only remembers
When they are
Headlines.
Listen
To the tears that flow through our bellies!
We digest them so gently
For fear of hearing.
For fear that everything might collapse.
Our hearts sing an unheard song.
Do we no longer believe in melodies
Or know that they dissolve weapons?

I’m sick of this fatal silence
That consumes my energy and my wellbeing.
What of our children? Our silence
Will drown them!
Better they hear
Our cries and groans:
They’ll find freshness in the shower
Of our lamentations.

If this cage still has its drums,
Then, in this night that we share with those suffering,
We shall welcome the aria of the moon
The bells of the stars, and the ringing of the sky.
Never cease to beat the rhythm of our sorrow
So that those who come from our bellies
Have hearts made of music
Salted with our tears.