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Anwar Francis Feb 2016
Ma is sitting on the porch
just before the laid out crumble
of stone outlined by brick and mortar
iron bands, gold shell casings
and silence
except for the sky
did you know colors can speak
burnt orange clouds
like fluffed up dried blood
its been raining for years
on shirts, on limbs
on the inside of women’s thighs
bitten by the cold
that’s how we got here
the place where we are shown
what we have shown
what does Pa think of all this?
he’s looking right up at that sky
scarred and singed
defiant in his brokenness
feelings awash amid the rubble
now comes the season of atonement.
Last month I went to Germany for the first time, and learned a lot about World War II and its effects on the people who participated in it.   I wanted to think about a little boy, growing up at this time, and what it might be like for him to look out at the effects of the war, just after it concluded.
our lives are fraught with numbers

so many fractions of a second faster in a race  
most wins on record   best jury votes
highest flight   deepest dive   most goals
meters of rising sea levels
millions of refugees   and more displaced
tens of thousands  honor killings
thousands of deaths with Ebola  
millions of Zika virus victims next year
billions of deficit or profit in import/export
    or the stock exchange
votes in elections    or for beauty queens

polls    tweets   virtual friends  & followers
likes on the social media    on hellopoetry

we have been taught to measure our status
our importance   and the significance of our lives
in clicks of other peoples’ digital devices

even our time has been reduced to numbers
the digital has long replaced the comprehensive
instead of the round dial that shows 12 hours
    suggesting the duration of a normal day
we have a punctual display  without the whole
the cyclical has lost against the linear

we all look forward to our numbered future
no past  and very little present

our hands on smart phones    homes    TVs
    pushing a button makes things move
    swishing a screen displays the world

over all that we easily forget
that we ourselves have been reduced to numbers
    of customers for businesses
    of voters for the politicians
    of workers for the corporations
    of citizens for our nations
digital quantities we have become

and if we take a global view
we are part of the seven billion plus
that currently inhabit our earth

all of which do expect their individuality
be honored  and their dignity respected

numbers don’t  honor individuality
they simply count the units
items  or people  are for them the same

it’s left to us to find a way
that leaves the numbers in their place
yet guarantees us dignity
as individual members of the human race
Anwar Francis Feb 2016
Note to self
you are the divine embodiment
of the universe
you are you and that is
better than anything else
you are worthy of love
and capable of learning
to love more and more
better and better
you are journeying through the universe
like a star in the sky
do not fear being seen
or hide away if misunderstood
to be seen is an opportunity to be heard
it is the only way to live
in the open, and openly
all hidden things wish to be seen
if only by the eyes of the few
life will give to you
your time of need
and you will be better
for having received it
to welcome life’s taking
without grasping
is to receive something altogether greater
less seen
more of yours than anything was before
believe in the yes that is only for yourself
not only the one you give to others
and learn to use them both
can you say yes to deserving more
and cherish the change?
It is imperative that you do
yes is the only answer worth giving
to life, to love, to yourself.
Anwar Francis Jan 2016
Down the hallway
dimly lit eyes peak open
from pores on the pale painted skin
covering each door.
Jesus sings a song
while listening to stories
of the resurrection from other people
on their fourth trip
back to this world.
Walls white as paper
scratched with caveman markings
like Lascaux
hidden under sound
from black screens
with holes in their faces
opening and closing
at the touch of their faces.
Bushes of green trees cover concrete
like an oasis in the sand.
At its end
a large window
keeps thick skinned
scaly trees at bay
near a chair, cushioned and pink
pointing back up the hallway
from which to sit
and ponder these things.
  Jan 2016 Anwar Francis
Standing still
Breath uneven
Gaze slipping down the snowy tracks
I watch
exasperated as you stutter
You can't
like the way
the slush clings
to my heart
unwilling to stop
I glance around at the beautiful
Breath uneven
You're laughing
Over me
The altitude,
And I can't think of anything else
Clouds gathering
The future
And I'm confused
As the rain melts down me
Breath uneven
My body
One great icicle
You see
Breath uneven
I'm crying
Snow dances
Weaving frozen tears
Breath uneven
We can't find
The way back
to where
We began
But there's no forgetting
the journey
I'm lost but found
Breath uneven
As your eyes
Tell me
Haven't written in awhile, but this just came about.
Anwar Francis Jan 2016
Do you remember
the dream you had
some seventeen years ago
about saving the world with prose?
Intersectional towers of oppression
crumbling down
while you move through
crowded dance floors at night.
Maybe it felt lost
misplaced under stacks of bills
holding place in textbooks
or gave birth to something new
when you held the soft pink skin
of your daughter against your own
again and again.
Do you remember the dream
you had about your father
asking if you were ready
knowing the answer was no
or his standing silent
smiling everything will be alright at you
what would he say now?
Anwar Francis Jan 2016
Note to self
you are the divine embodiment
of the universe
you are you
and that is better than anything else.
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