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  Mar 2017 J Penpla
Renee Danielle
abuse is a picture that I am forced to paint
with colors I have never seen.
if I draw fists into open arms,
if I sketch an apology in between berating,
if I fill in every empty space with love,
no one will come running for
the child who cried help.

abuse is a phantom limb
still covered in bruises.
white coats and clipboards wonder
how it can still ache when it is no longer there,
infecting me with their doubts.
sometimes it feels heavier
than it did when it was a part of me.

depression eats at my weight until my skin is taut,
boarding up my eyes and locking my mouth.
blame has found solace in this blood,
guilt mutating my thoughts.
my potential used to live here,
but abuse has a reverse Midas touch
where everything that could have become gold
withers in its hands.
J Penpla Mar 2017
you okay Syria?
Heard you were unwell,
according to Wikipedia.
Set out searching
for something uplifting.
Started cruising the news,
then started drifting.
You were looking pretty fit,
On your wiki-profile,
10 millennia of Mediterranean:
temperate and fertile.
Boasting a motely religious crew:
Sunnis, Shiites,
Christians, Druze and Jews
So ethnically diverse,
with your Arabs, Kurds and Turks.

And as complex historically,
in terms of genealogy.
Just take a look at your etymology:
“the Levant”, meaning:
‘where the sun rises’
And like the sun’s rising,
there is no denying
your history of reprising
war of blood and fire.
Lest we begin at the beginning:
the Ottoman Empire,
which was succeeded by Babylonia,
then conquered by the Persians.
From Macedonia,
through countless imperialist conversions.
And the mosh-pit persisted
Full of havoc and haters,
Jews, Muslims, and Christian crusaders.
Through multiple millennia
to the twenty-first century,
you hardly gained independence
As a republic, parliamentary
Then on loop, military coup after coup…
Still looking more cliquey
Than an American penitentiary.

Not that conditions
Were too civil before
but from the Arab Springs,
sprung yet another civil war.
Claiming nearly half a million casualties
And ten times that in refugees.
Syria, are you begging, are you bawling,
are you crawling on your knees?

Mesopotamia, the market’s hot.
Leading natural resource: petroleum.
Coincidence? Of course…not
So Syria who’s in charge?
Who’s assigned to officiate?
Let’s get this straight:
You’ve got your head of State-
That is mister president.
And mister prime-minister,
well he’s official head of government.
May I ask where is Mrssssss….
No, no. Not much room for her in parliament.

Pardon me, my political perspective
might be a bit bourgeois
but might there be connection
between your strife and sharia law?
Again, pardon my impudence
but Allah’s jurisprudence
hardly seems prudent.
So, Muhammad, the prophet
left behind a prophecy,
spelled out in religious text
on which you base your polity
From which are governed
all matters of legality,
like, for instance say: the death penalty,
which seems to be the official decree
on any member of  the L, G, B or the T.
A strict hetero-only-policy.
Nothing is guaranteed in life though,
except for death and tax.
Thankfully, on these matters
Muhammad was a little more lax.
The *****, the infidel,
the unbeliever, the abomination
has a bit of say regarding
Death or taxation.
For those who do not believe
reprieve is a matter of yes or no:
Yes – conversion and enslavement
Otherwise, refusal means death row?
And even less leniency is granted,
to the lady adulterer
caught in twisted **** laws
punishment must not evade her
Wait, nope: Allah’s sharia clause –
lest he, the victim, opts to marry her.
And should she deviate
Muhammad left a legal loop-hole
For the gentleman may repudiate
any respective young mate
Should she have already
begun to… *******?

(C’mon, really? I mean
I genuinely don’t get it)

I confess though, I’m a bit ethnocentric
It’s just that to me,
sharia methods seem too eccentric,
nay, morally questionable.
Kafirs, gays, women,
basically anyone vulnerable,
well their disenfranchisement,
seems culturally commendable  
if legally permissible.

It may not be my place, so again
I apologize for the tangent.
Does this Muhammad though,
not seems unfit for management?
To govern your soil
as drenched in blood as it is in oil,
land, so godly-blessed,
Syria, why is it that your name is so
synonymous with civil unrest?

Back to where I started, though
Syria, tell me: how are you?
But answer only if that query
is not too risky to respond to.
With arbitrary censorship,
detention and torture so widespread,
journalists must be etching cell walls
with “blog when you’re dead”
while offshore expeditions
on the Mediterranean Sea-floor
in the six years since
you declared civil war
leave you reliant on foreign credit
more than ever before.

So, how are you, Syria?
Just curious to hear from ya.
J Penpla Jul 2013
A hermit I did find
A hermit with a hermit’s plan
Of hermit notions and hermit mind
I will recall for you what I can
Your attention is repayment in-kind
Let me introduce, this hermit hearted man

This jester void of rhythm and rhyme
This hallowed-out hermit friend
Bespoke like a rigid and reclusive mime
Who knew not how to pretend
That he did not fear the time
To him allotted, with only himself to tend

A peculiar host was he
And what I found peculiar most
Was his strange anxiety
That he wore like a scar, almost
A scathing scar, I could see
The sort you burry, not boast

It wasn’t a visible scar
On this hermit’s healthy cheek
That one could see from near or afar
But it wounded and rendered him weak
A scar on his soul, untended, ajar
That left this hermit too strained to speak
J Penpla Apr 2013
Am I more than just bones and blood and skin?
A device of wires and cell-ements?
A jester’s motley plucked from some King’s bin?
Or bolts and gears, a cluster of junk
Divinely tossed together
From what? The dump’s tickle-trunk?
Nay, better yet: pearls for eyes
And a mass of sinew’ed sand
Torn-roots for legs, Venus fly-traps for hands?
All oversimplifications for this, my assigned vehicle
Assembled in such a way, inexplicably strategical
This drawn by these dextrous digits
Deftly delegated by this complex cerebral contraption
Which egotistically instigated this imaginative introspection
Mostly rhetorical
J Penpla Apr 2013
A dream from which you cannot wake
Is not a dream at all
It’s but a delusion, a dreary fake
A dream from which you cannot wake
Caught within a breath you cannot take
A pitless, thus listless fall
A dream from which you cannot wake
Is not a dream at all

This nightmare of vacant reflection
Carved from calloused eyes
Peering and leering in insomnious inspection
This nightmare of vacant reflection
Is but hollowed slumber, yet an insidious infection
Neither resting nor rousing this wakeful guise
This nightmare of vacant reflection
Carved from calloused eyes
J Penpla Mar 2013
At random
A riddle wrecks  
The rituals of my day
But, I know what’s next
It regresses; fate must have its way
A tease that taunts and haunts me
For it won’t bestow me
Wisdom without first
Revealing ruefully
Simple solutions
In reverse
Work break here. Decided not to let this idea go without a little 'form' restricitons.
J Penpla Mar 2013
On a night like any other
What a sham it was to think,
As if my belly had changed address
That I’d settle for just one drink.
The bottle’s neck was all I did need
But my neck I did not heed.
Before the taste had left my lip
The bottle it did tip, surely just one more sip.

Since that very first compromise
A fog has thickened in my eyes.
I’m now mad at the wall and ready to brawl
With any fella I so choose to despise.
I’m a rooster tonight, with every cause to fight,
And every last hen in town is a ten.
So I’ll swoon every one, won’t stop till I’m done
Wake up drunk enough to do it again

But first, a trip to the loo
Hell bound for the toilette
So, on the no-one-near I don’t spew
Clearing this foul gullet.
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