Monday 25 January 2016

Another way to return

You still go back panicked, groping the old songs,
blinded in tunnels, to soothe your roughed-up
spirit. The muddy river comes along
in broken down wooden barges, loved up

smooth old piers, worn rusted cranes dipping
their necks into the water, and no-one
comes to greet you, and no-one is gripping
fingers tight in comfort, lifting your burden.

You can hear the sunlight playing, somewhere
on the waters, a cowherd with cattle;
but here it’s just four small, chocolate squares
of light on blank concrete, and static crackle.

The news comes on in the evening, and it’s
floating seaweed, there’s gunfire in the distance
mushrooms of smoke and dust on wizened targets
and faces still lean out, clenched in resistance,

and refugees are portioned, as if we’re
barbecue nations. You don’t know if Suzanne
will show you her harbours, if she’ll let you near
the river’s wavelength, or if she at all, can.

A lot of things top-of-mind today.  First off, I'll be returning to the  A-Z, and no two ways about that. The sign up is today. Not only will I be participating, I am in deeper than previously this year because I am a Ninja Minion on Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh's team. (If I knew the exact emoticon to express the yayness I would totally insert it here. But since I don't, just fill it in yourself)  I am also all signed up to participate in the Colours of Life Poetry Festival scheduled for mid-April, which is a(n offline) poetry event in my local community.

It's the fifth anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution today, so my friends there are very much on my mind too. Hope it goes safe and smooth and that they each get what they wish for in 2016, politically and otherwise.

Anyways, the upshot is - April is going to be a superbly amazing month! Can't-wait-but-also-love-the-waiting-and-working-writing-researching-rehearsing-part emoticon here. 

Have a great week!


  1. Hi Nila - I know they've been worried about the 5 year anniversary today .. I too sincerely hope all is well.

    The A-Z - that's excellent you're doing it again and being a minion ..

    A lot of thought in your verse too - too much to mention and serious thought prevailing as I unravel all the meanings ..

    Cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary, my third time at the A-Z and I am so looking forward to it.

  2. Such a sad and lonely piece - you captured those feelings well.
    Glad you will be one of my Ninja Minions this year!

    1. Returning is always sadder and lonelier than one expects...

      I am preparing to have a blast at this A-Z! Thank you for the minionship, if minionship is the right word :-)

  3. life beyond the four walls is vast
    many ways to go yet which way first
    time is short as life speeds on by
    have fun on the path you choose to go
    be sure of foot and don't look back
    for things left behind will haunt you
    causing you to waiver on your journey

    1. Not looking back maybe the answer...but how else to measure the journey? or to know where one is going if one doesn't know where one is coming from? life can be weirdly complicated sometimes :)

    2. Life is a two-way street
      you can't go one-way
      without coming from another

      Tho I like to see it as a tree
      having to choose the left or right fork
      until one reaches the last branches tip

  4. Nila, you are amazing! Becoming a ninja minion for the A-Z will be super for you! And a great help to the team. I wish you a wonderful April with your poetry also.

    Five years already! I wrote a flash fiction on the day and will never forget the emotion of it all. I can remember all the commentary--if only all that energy could be harnessed for doubt revolutions are sometimes slow. I feel for your country and its return to equilibrium.
    I love your second last stanza. Such apt descriptions of the suffering of war...then the refugees...:-\

    1. Thank you for the wishes, Denise. I totally love doing the A-Z, and am anticipating an even more wonderful time this year being a minion! Super for me for sure!

      It is hard to believe that it's five years, isn't it? I too remember the heightened emotions and the dramatic unfolding of events during that time. Except for Tunisia, the Arab Spring hasn't brought about the changes most people had hoped for. A slow pace of change is possibly easier to adjust to and assimilate than an avalanche. Wishing them the peace and changes they want and hoping for the best - that's all one can do.

      The suffering in conflict zones seems unchanging and relentless though. Beyond terrible.

    2. I saw on the news the other night, that all is not well in Tunisia. People demonstrating and curfews enforced. Unfortunate, but if it's now a democracy, the people need to have their say.

    3. Yeah, not one Spring has led to a perfect outcome yet...but Tunisia was perhaps the farthest along the road. I do hope they remain that way!

  5. Nila, you capture emotion so beautifully.

    March and April will be a crazy time - I'm happy to be sharing the job of minion with you. Are you doing poetry again? Plus competing in a poetry contest? You're amazing!

    1. The crazy time for me starts from about now :) the offline event is not a contest, it's a poetry performance, but a tough challenge nevertheless in its own way. First time presenting poetry to a large audience :D

      I am so pleased to be alongside you in the minionship! Thanks for your words and for being here!

  6. Good imagery on the poem, sad but nicely captured.

    I'm toying with the idea of doing the A-Z Challenge (it would be my first time) but I always do a poem-a-day challenge in April and don't want to drop something if overwhelmed.

    1. I'm a great fan of the A-Z :) have loved doing it ever since the first time. Seriously, it grows me and the blog in unexpected directions.

      Doing two events in April is challenging but not impossible. The trick is to schedule the A-Z posts in advance and free up the time in April for the visits and reading. Can't say about the poem-a-day challenge because I've never done that. But I can thoroughly recommend the A-Z :) And you never know what you are capable of till you try. Good luck with the event(s) you choose!

  7. The lines are strong and intense. I am looking forward to your poetry posts for the challenge. All the best:)

    1. I am looking forward to April too! Thanks for your wishes and support. Much appreciated.

  8. Being a minion is a big job. Good luck and have fun with A to Z. I still need to think of a theme. :)

    1. Thank you! I remember your A-Z posts last year, I am sure you will come up with something equally interesting! :)