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 Jun 2022 Petra
 Jun 2022 Petra
I took one pill to strengthen my body
But pain breaks it slowly.
I took two pills to forget
But pain makes me regret.
I took all the pills
And pain never died at all.
 Mar 2021 Petra
Davina E Solomon
Cornrows forge a rhythm to the sun
and self love feels like a line dance.
A shake of tassels and silks that
unfurl in the nick of time.

Love flowers on a stalk, above, below.
The wind sweeps in an airy betrothal,
a surge and then a sway, sashay,
a whirl in the nick of time.

Pollen, sparkles, pixel burst.
How do the ears of corn know,
to listen to the wind holler,
to twirl in the nick of time.

In a Caryopsis, a synopsis
of self seducing passions,
crushed to cornmeal. Floury
swirl in the nick of time.
The inspiration for this poem lay in a snippet of poetry that the wonderful actor, the late Irrfan Khan voices to a pomegranate plant in the movie Karwaan (Hindi). He say this to the sapling of Anarkali (pomegranate bud):

“They buried me alive thinking I’ll perish,
but they didn’t realise, that I’m a seed and in my burial, lay my redemption. My dear pomegranate bud, don’t be in a hurry to bloom and fruit. You will be taken to an expansive space where you can grow and flourish.”

The delicate instruction got me to think about seeds, progenitors of the future, buried and redeemed when they germinate. There are so many ways to create a seed. Love in the plant kingdom, if it can be called that, is as diverse as the plants that make up the flora of the world.

Today’s post is about corn rows in a field. Corn is a wind pollinated plant (male and female flowers occur on the same stalk and corn can self pollinate too). It would be interesting to note that the time of synchronous maturation of flowers on the stalk is termed colloquially, a nick. Tassels, silks, ears are all parts of corn flowers and Caryopsis, the fruit of the corn arranged on the cob, is a fruit body found in other varieties of grasses as well. So much for the botanical lesson for now.

On a separate note, it seems like ages when my mother braided my (then short) hair in cornrows which was unusual for my school days. It’s time consuming to braid hair thus, especially when extensions are involved (like I first saw people in Dar es Salaam wear them) hours of labour involved, but a wonderful way to wear hair nevertheless.

It was also in Dar that I danced a Kenyan style line dance that is a form of synchronized dancing where each person moves separately to rhythm. Do check the South African anthem Jerusalema that was put to this unbeatable step (to go viral online), by the Angolan dance troupe, Fenomenos de Semba (and if dancing with a plate of food is your kind of thing). The idea behind Line dancing is that it begets coexistence. I would like to imagine a kind of ‘Convivencia’, which resonates with the theme of corn love or a communal love dancing in a corn field, so to speak. (Although, Convivencia is used to denote the complex interplay of social, cultural and religious practices). We are still the same species despite the differences , like corn in a field.

Thank you for reading.
 Mar 2021 Petra
This jungle is more dessert like these days
it is merely waiting
for the rains to wash these days away
the dust rises each morn
although it never sleeps
and fills these spaces between our breaths
the roads are choked with the scurrying
of a frightening pace
what color are the dreams made of money
for out there the war rages
the have and have not
whom god loves
and whom she does not

the days approach me
from my simple perch
surfer green walls and railings
June liked the color
but it’s been over four years since
I found her dead on the floor
it is a poorly done painting now
the surfer green hue
spread across a canvas of my wanderings
and the pulsing language of the conqueror
(it screams at me in the night)
I cannot wait as the jungle does
too much flesh and blood
we outcasts used to be left alone here
but the money is calling us out
we are dissolving
waiting for the rain to wash this all away
 Mar 2021 Petra
Evan Stephens
 Mar 2021 Petra
Evan Stephens
Angry-headed poppy,
come deliver your sleep.
I want the black dream
that comes at 3 am,
& leaves only when
the numbers rake across
the face of glass.
O ****** poppy,
bring me the blankness
of your dry child -
my beloved slips
into scarlet wine,
she opens to wavering night,
without even my hand.
I down myself with coffee,
then wake with poems
erupting like lilacs
over a new grave.
Sweet-headed poppy,
come distribute your sleep.
I need the black dream
that comes so late
that it blinds me
to the ways I love her.
 Mar 2021 Petra
Evan Stephens
 Mar 2021 Petra
Evan Stephens
The simple sun today
just aches away.
I go outside,
with trembled lip,
& join the withered pip
on a whisking walk
to break away from surface talk,
to escape my vacant nest,
the closing tightness in the chest.
When I'm back I yearn
for your return
from the green,
the awful, awful green.
But I would take the green
with a smile if it would mean
I'd be with you,
no hopeless queue.
But today? The simple sun today
just aches away.
revision of a very old poem (1997) in rhyming couplets.
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