Graceless Vanity

Paint your faces with chalk and soot

Scorch your drums by the hearth

And hit them torn tonight

When the masquerade of spirits shall pass

Lest you be dragged to the underworld

For you have fallen in love

With all the things in life that destroy men

You have parted honey from comb

Now flee from the stinging wind

Your world is turned upside down

The sky is a turbulent sea

Dropping wrecks of ships on your heads

Your ships of vanity

And now you sift the shore sands

Grain by grain looking for grace

 

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Turns out.

I thought some things were so important and valuable

Turns out they are not

Believed some people to be so wise and distinguished

Turns out they don’t know what they are doing

Turns out the most important thing is love

And the most valuable is life

That the wisest man is out somewhere in the yard

Feeding the birds

Or out in the field playing catch me with children

Joining in their songs of play

Making faces at each other.

Come Home

My arms lie idly on my laps

Am at my wits end

My roof turned black with crows

Who seem to feed on my grief

My world is turned grey

All colour have fled

My beloved is estranged

Into the greasy arms of the wealthy landowner

Left me to sing my poems to the birds

O cruel maiden

You are no hollow boned bird

Who perches on the lightest twig

To reach the ripest berries

You weigh a tone and got no wings

But if you fall from grace

Come home I’ll be waiting

I chained the dog to the door post

But I won’t leave either

We are both prisoners of hope

Scavenging what is left of companionship

Come home I’ll be waiting

Don’t pick up the shiny silver coins

That lie beneath Judas’s dangling feet.

 

 

Mending

I did you wrong,

Sit down with me

Let’s thin that camel to a thread

And sew back together this cloak

The sun will soon set

And the cold night fast approaches

This cloak that we mend

Will be warmth over our joyful union

And shroud over dead sorrows

This broken stick shall sprout into bud

As long as there is still you

As long as there is still me

As long as there is still hope.

A wild concert

Come all you musical lovers

To the throbbing heart of the jungle

And surrender to your desires

Caress your stringed calabash

Fetch your tight drums from the sun

Wet your bamboo reed flutes ready.

 

Let your voices make love to the trees

Set all branches saps flowing

Let the leaves quiver in excitement

Dance with naked feet on the moist moss

Set the raging beast on its tracks

Be the panting prey and let it tear you open.

 

With eyes closed in sweet surrender

Let’s move with the peacock’s grace

And see the world through its a hundred eyes

Let’s whirl in mad ecstasy

And churn this butter of lusting love

I don’t mind drowning in such juicy quicksand

 

PS. Illustration painting By Lisete Alcalde

 

 

 

 

The Wind Cries Lufanasi

The westerly wind came blowing in

From distant border lands and I begged

“Tell me swift whisperer

Have you heard from my beloved?

Have you blown cross the curve of her brow?

Have you tasted her lips of scarlet?

Tell me about her sweet fragrance

Of ocean lounge and tropical fruits

Bring that to my waiting nose.

Do you carry her free spirited air within your currents?

Have you brushed on her cheeks?

Come and press on mine.”

The wind cries Lufanasi

And blows away kissing leaves on its way

“Come back swift whisperer

Come back and tell me more”

The wind cries Lufanasi

“Chase not my currents

Your beloved is everywhere.”