The Search

A poem I wrote for my English creative assignment.  Had to be 500-600 words, so it’s pretty long.

I

This place of birth, of origin safe

Of blanket arms and dark,

Breathing embrace,

Is torn apart.

The roof is ripped off,

The foundations ablaze,

The timbers fall and crash.

It is gone.

 

This land was once

A haven warmed by the sun

But now it is a furnace.

Escape is not

A choice,

But a necessity.

 

Go now,

Do not look back.

Push through the hordes of people

That cry and stink and consume,

Stumble through the maze of stony plains

And run past the bullets,

Seeking swiftly their target.

 

Do not be daunted by the mountain tall,

The valley deep,

The clouds that scowl a warning.

Disregard fatigue and pain and mortality,

For they are not important.

 

Go now,

Do not allow borders to detain you.

And if you see what you cannot find

Here and now,

You will eventually find

Safety.

 

II

Stay now, for a while,

In this country vibrant and

Full of life.

This is a place of chamge,

You will find,

With different gods and tongues and

Where weapons are mercifully scarce.

Though they will stare,

As all men do,

If you lower your eyes to the ground,

Soon you will be invisible.

 

But do not permit yourself

Infatuation

Nor too much comfort.

In this place still,

Children cry like

Baby birds with open mouths

To catch a wriggling worm.

 

Sadness can still be found

Within the spiced air

Of this nation.

 

Do not settle

But move on.

 

III

Stop here,

But for a while –

Although the streets reek

And the red flag snaps taught

On the flagpole.

Where the crowds swarm

And bite and scratch

They will not find you

Yet.

 

Where the wind current

Whips at your face and

Tears at your hair,

Where the birds fly up

In tumultuous panic,

Where the walls have

Eyes and ears.

You may look but never stay.

 

Where the eerie music

And the rhythmic movement

Moves you deep within your chest,

Where the pungent food meets your lips –

This, surely, is safe.

You smile.

 

But someone

(A sentinel)

Watches with a frown.

 

You must know now

That this place is not

Safety.

There is something hidden

In these walled cities,

And only when the right questions are asked

Will it bare its teeth.

 

Behind this border,

We have stopped now

But not arrived.

 

IV

Stop here for a while.

Rest your calloused feet

On this bed of steamy jungle.

The frogs sing their songs all the same,

They are not disturbed by you.

The tiger slinks by –

A moving shape of

Disembodied stripes –

It is only curious and shall not harm.

 

But even this jungle has eyes.

 

And soon you will not see

Its greenery,

Smell the damp, mossy scent,

And the limber trunks will be

Replaced by bars.

 

It is all too clear now –

Only the animals will

Welcome you here.

 

V

Go now,

Cast your eyes upon this

Old, ancient map.

There are places many,

Space for every person to live.

 

But you are different.

 

To be a person,

Must you have a home?

If so,

Then you are not a person.

You must travel

With your house upon your back,

And the weighty burden that comes

With having no country.

 

Statesmen will frown and

Shake their heads,

Men will

Turn their backs,

But only you will know the

Weight of that burden you bear.

 

This place of hostility,

This world of competition

Is no place for a human being.

 

I wrote this based on refugees.  Tell me what you think of the style.

Philosophers at the Cafe

I had to look in my old philosophy book to remember half the things I needed for this poem.

If you walk through the doors,

And if your thing is noticing table numbers,

You will see they are not numbers

At all,

But philosophers.

If you sit at Table Rousseau,

All your food will be organic.

Your napkin will be imprinted with

Quotes from ‘The Social Contract’

And your drink today will be

But a glass of water.

If you sit at Table Plato,

Your menu will be brought over,

But will not be accompanied with food.

For life is but ‘a dance of shadows’

And what is the point of eating

When one’s life should not be about

Worldly pleasures?

If you sit at Table Nietzsche,

You will be served only with a

Long black,

From which you may stare into the

Empty blackness that does

Mirror the world.

If you sit at Table Freud,

You will be served a

Very suspicious looking

Breadstick.

If you sit at Table Marx,

You will only be served as much coffee

As the person on the table next to you.

Unless you are a capitalist,

In which case

You will be thrown out.

If you sit on Table Rorty

(as he is a known existentialist),

You will be expected to

Upend your table and turn to your

Neighbour,

Expecting him to do the same.

If you sit at Table Aristotle,

You will be expected to order

By yourself.

But if you stay on,

Although your food was

Organic,

Imaginary or

Suspicious,

You will meet a very interesting persona.

He hardly ever strays from the kitchens,

Where he makes every order

From scratch.

But when he does venture out,

You will find him

Cleanly shaven with

Very white teeth.

And he will introduce himself

As the

God of the Philosophers.

By the way, I’m not religious.

The Blue Wood

The blue wood.

It is a place where

Nobody laughs

(Trees cannot laugh)

And gossip does not exist.

The cool air is not

Gunked with fumes,

It is

Breathable.

Only the metronome sound

Of a woodpecker and the

Slow, sighing swish

Of the trees in the wind

Can be heard.

 

In this wood,

The trees are not green.

Night has leaked them

Of colour

Like humanity has

Leaked them of life.

This blue wood

Is dead.

Dead, but beautiful as well.  I suppose things can be that way.

The Schoolgirl Philosopher

A smile is a rarity

On her plain face.

Her books clutched to her chest,

Like a small child.

Her diary is full of

Poetry.

Her pencilcase,

Scrunched pieces of paper –

The remnants of thought.

 

Do not invite her to celebrations

For she will sit in the corner

And take notes.

 

In the classroom,

She stays mute and

In the corridor,

While others play,

She learns.

 

And when, from this place of learning,

We graduate,

She will carry her thoughts

Like a backpack.

The more she trudges along

The dusty road of life,

The heavier it will become.

This is not based upon anyone I know.  Including myself.