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Poems

Troubadour Greenfickle

A little grasshopper
Approaching gingerly
On a bench in a park
Inquisitive inspector
Taking notes
And carefully balanced

Cute disconcertingly,
“I bet you’re up to no good”,
One eye on a sandwich
One eye focused on the critter
“I’d join you but I’ve a meeting”
Shift shift

“I’m not just any ol’ grasshopper”
Didn’t think so
“They call me Troubadour Greenfickle”
I continued chewing
“I won’t sing you a song”
A pause, I sipped some beverage
“Perspective is everything isn’t it?”
Should I be worried?
Is it looking at me and talking?
Perhaps just talking,
“Look closer”

I focused on its alien eye,
Looked an exasperated sigh,
What a guy!
“Misgendering lie”
Would you like me to bake you a pie?
“It’s no more alien than your tie”
I bet you’d like to try
“Or your face, please don’t cry”
Are you shy?
“Not quite”

“Look closer”
“That’s right, remember what I said?”
Somewhere in my head
“Yeah, well that’s apt”
“Lemme show you somethin’ real quick”

An otherworldly scream
Was it my throat?
Too brief
World flipped
Exoskeleton and limber
Giant peering at me
Eyes steely stare
Windy breath
Predator wary
“You haven’t felt that one in a long time!”
Frozen still

Switch back,
Face aghast,
Eyes stuck open,
Jaws horror-locked,
“Thought you’d like some perspective”

A crowd had gathered in the park
Concerned yet fascinated
Legs shoot into ground
Asphalt shards and soil flying
Bench splintered
Fascination into terror
Disorientation and dread peak
Beyond threshold pain

Sense of self lost
An observer from within
Is this death or…?
New joints cracking into formation
The new crunch-eating the old

Head leaned back, eyes now alien
“Like I said, they’re not so bad”
A long monstrous wailing scream echoes
Arms shoot forward
Impaling closest of the audience
“Careful with those, they’re all legs now”

Sirens all around
A purring percussion from above
The audience gingerly approaches
Spectators or predators?
Loud bangs and thuds
Non-stop
Breaking through the new edifice
Awareness floating away
My meeting
Whatever will they think…

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Poems

Untitled

Eyes first meeting
Enchanted voice
Beauty and chaos
Delightful layers
Just a hint of tired
Well-hidden under a smile
Reaching out to soothe
What doesn’t appear to need it.

Not aware of depths
Counting breaths
How deep could they go?
Vanishing colours

The clouds passed
Resuscitation
And the sunshine
Sun-shone those depths
Unbalanced chaotic
Hurt with every stroke

They remember without connecting
At a standstill
A story ends
Without an ending

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Poems

“To my friends…”

I know you, friend,
I recognize my self in you,
Your countenance a canvas of your heart,
Or a parchment with ink bright red,
I’ve never met you,
But I see the part of you,
That would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me,
Respect, dignity, and solidarity our shared language,
You have my gratitude.

It is so difficult to find you,
A necessity,
If it was so easy,
Then they would find us,
With their language of conformity and violence,
Copy-cats of blind majority,
Bent on propagating and steering,
We recognize the steps of their dance,
From a mile away,
We try to steer clear,
But sometimes our shared language,
Calls on us to act.

To the scoundrels,
I know you,
I recognize my self in you,
But that was an old self,
I left it behind long ago,
A fossil,
I’ve never met you,
But I see the part of you,
That would hurt me,
For entertainment,
Or derived righteousness,
Humanity’s parroting scoundrel.

================

Author’s note: I dedicate this poem to Sarah Hegazi (Rest in Power), a queer feminist activist from Egypt who recently passed away while seeking asylum here, in Canada, and to all who are navigating and surviving cruelness and systemic injustice.

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Poems

A thoracic study

Dear reader,
I feel a lump,
Behind my sternum,
Lodged in place,
Neighbour to the heart.

We had talked about,
How we were different,
But the unspoken truth,
That our love for each other,
Was not strong enough,
To overcome those differences.
An untruthful truth.

Dear reader,
What is this lump I feel?
It will not leave me be,
Right between my lungs,
Tight.

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Poems

Kindness and the Fool

The Fool is eternal,
Always there to greet you,
Under any circumstance,
With a cold grin,
That spreads from ear to ear.

The Fool comes to You,
Without a finger lifted,
The way you wish Kindness did,
But Kindness is no one’s weakness,
The exact opposite,
Of what the Fool consoles you:

“You’ve been hurt,”
The Fool cups your heart,
With a comforting hand,
Wicked with long sharp talons,
“Sharpen your words with my whetstone,
Brandish your daggers,
Red-hot your brand,
So as to leave them with a mark,
They shall soon not forget!
Ready your fiery whip,
If they show you kindness,
A sign of weakness,
An opportune instant,
To lash them across the cheek,
Leave them with a kiss,
A reminder of what is to come,
When they move against you.”

You look at Kindness,
Their back turned to you,
And so you lash your whip,
No obstacle to distract your aim,
A smile plays on your lips.

You’re winning,
Protected,
Dignity restored,
You were hurt,
Doesn’t Kindness understand?
That complete and utter fool.

You are legion,
Kindness has their back turned,
Not on You,
But on the Fool’s army.
What else would you call an army,
Of recruits who whip,
Lash and stab each other?
Unaware of any common cause,
Or of the mission?

Every now and then,
When there comes,
A synchronous lull,
Within their ranks,
Kindness sends some words,
For those who might know,
How to listen:

“I am Kindness,
I am a difficult choice,
As eternal as your Fool.

In my care,
A legion,
Moving in unison,
They do not gain dignity,
By taking it from another,
Their worth immeasurable.

Your whips, brands, daggers, and words,
Leave only marks quickly healed,
My followers are survivors,
Humanity’s caretakers and builders,
Veterans of Fools’ armies.

In spite of and despite,
They choose to be kind,
The deepest of gashes in their hearts,
Scarified,
But yours continue to bleed,
Comforting talons digging ever deeper,
Every time you look to the Fool.”