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Saluting Magpies

Poetry in Motion

l’aller simple

ne descendez pas sur les voies
nous ne viendrons pas vous chercher
si par malheur ou mésentente
cela devait arriver

pourquoi d’ailleurs s’y aventurer
on n’est pas bien ici, sur le quai?
à attendre que notre train arrive
se vide, se remplisse, se fraye

un passage. pour s’aventurer ailleurs
en suivant le bonheur prescrit
celui des riverains sans rivière
celui du sens, interdit.

Still life

When the wisteria buds, then flowers
the cherry trees of the neighbours’ gardens
will already have known
their finest hours. We turn
admiration and trailing fingers
to Iris, Rose, the younger sisters;
with them relive a bittersweet chimera
of vital force, and certain power. A crown
passed between nature’s daughters
who share it well, in safe sure knowledge
of a collective throne which does not tarnish:
ephemeral reign, to reign immortal. Love, 
when the wisteria next buds and flowers
we will have known our finest hours; you
must sit at the table we painted
last spring time, in this spring time’s premise. 

yousurper

I love that thing you do
You’re so good at it. 

You inspire me, 
really. 

So much so that, can you believe it
I had a go, myself. 

And probably through
beginner’s luck
or perhaps your genius,
rubbing off –

I rather liked the thing I did 
Even better, actually, than when you did it;

You inspired me,
really.
 
You’re so good at that. 

the valentine dictat

roses can be red,
but come in many other suitable colours
whether violets are blue
is up for debate entirely.
they have been dubbed so, by lovers
lazy in serenade;
mansplaining?

on the rest of the four-liner
I have little to comment
it is traditionally creative commons.
only that:
if Violet can stay herself
there is no longer rhyme nor reason
to end in you-too-guess who;
there – I’ve had the last word.

fee fi fo fum

These scurrying ants
incessantly, importantly busy,
are going somewhere.

With opposable thumbs clasping
cigarette stub and coffee, I jeer
at the fast-moving queue.
« servitude! » « blind obedience! »
« petitesse! »

the ants
incessantly, importantly busy
scurry past the sneer.
mighty, their purpose shall not defeat mine
with slippered foot
I squash the line; there –

no longer incessantly, importantly busy
nor scurrying
anywhere.

mother nature

I signed up for
petit bateau, ciné-goûter
hallowe’en
cakes smeared over birthday faces,
tantrums

I had expected
sleepless nights, doliprane
dentists and long years of braces,
girlfriends

guessed there would be
skipping school, attitude
hard-slammed doors in teenager wars
no prisoners –

so be it. so be these
sweet sacrifices as predicted:
the glory of the gift of self
unconditionally granted.

but some young
do not fly the nest
suckling at their mother’s breast
long beyond
her intended milk;

suckling until
nothing else is left.

flatlining

When was the last time you
felt alive, she said

I know better than to stammer
she does not like
embryonic answers
or anything less than
my heart. a corner cut-off

each time. I give it gladly
each time; she already has it
my soul too, if she would take it
but she refuses
souls
must not be sacrificed.

she is waiting but will not
wait much longer
still, I do not answer.
when was the last time I felt alive?
it was before that question.

when I didn’t know
I wasn’t, this wasn’t
good enough for her
nowhere near good enough
if she must ask me the question.




had it coming

in memory of Sarah Everard, and every other #Shetoo
never, ever their « fault ».

yes, but, really, what was she doing
out drinking
out on her own
out with her friends
out in that neighbourhood
out?

and honestly, what do you expect, when she
accepted the ride home
dressed like that
turned him down, in front of his mates
playing hard to get?

no,
she should have listened
/she should have stayed home
/she should have fought back
/left him
/dressed differently, that night

how many times must we tell you, dearie?
boys
will be boys.

fowl play

so here’s what came first:
the hen.
forget catch-all chickens, and unisexism
who runs the world?
girls.

my farmyard dilemma is another.
cock-a-doodle-do, doesn’t
but neither yet has our new hen
a month in. plucky, not clucky:
we face a case of the avian flou.

the children already named her Dijon
(favourite dish from the Mary Berry book).
feminism should not egg on
misandry, of course
but Dijon’s goose might thus soon be cooked.

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