Delicate Hope

I bought gourd seeds

off a market in my land of exile  

a highland fertile and cold

and when I got home

I planted them on my mother’s little garden

carefully watching their growth – two vines.

When I wasn’t home I sent word

to have them watered

and all I ever knew of hope

all it ever meant to me

Was on those large healthy leaves

On which was written promises of plenty


Then the petals opened in a foreign land

and my mother’s rocky kitchen garden

on top of a hill

was way too close to the sun

thus the shy gourd flowers

scorched dead and fruitless.

Yet the large green leaves

Remained just as healthy

With promises of plenty

When You Think Of Me

when you strip down

before you take your bath

touch and hold dear

your cold naked body

and think of me


when sit to comb your hair

tear out your kinks in anger

feign the pain on the comb

bury your face in your palms

and think of me


when you oil up your skin

or moisturizing or cream

repeat unnecessary strokes on your neck

then pause a while

and think of me


when you try on your dress

straighten out the creases with care

run your hands over your curves

tilt your head to one side

and think of me


when you lie down to sleep

place your pillow between your thighs

stretch your wailing arms

on the cold empty side of your bed

and think of me



Painting by Michael Orwick

Sea Shells Souvenir

A friend of mine was headed for the coast

and I begged him in earnest

to bring me a sack of sea shells

when he gets back inland

since I can’t afford the train ticket

I tell everyone I know who is headed for the coast

to bring me the same souvenir

of shells of all sorts and sizes

I shall know what to do with them

I have ideas in mind to the service of beauty.


None of my friends came back with shells

they dined and wined and swam with dolphins

they stayed in white walled hotels

and basked in the sun drinking coconut water

and forgot to kneel in the sand

and collect shells washed ashore

or left behind in the low tide

they wonder what I’d do with them anyway

they smile and laugh it off

like some sick joke

and the vast ocean of my imagination

remains restless and yearning

for colourful shells on its shores