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Poems

Maggie Emmett Jun 2016
You were no Eve of Russian literature
like Pushkin’s precious Tatyana.
You were no young, innocent, provincial girl
seduced by cynical Onegin, that bon vivant
corrupted by modern European values.
You were no mysterious Russian soul
brimful of essential purity and self-sacrifice -
with a love of pain and pure disdain of happiness.

Tatyana resisted all temptation, refusing
to take flight, rejecting the man she loved.
She was too good to be true; but you, Anna
what a pickle you got yourself in, choosing ****** sin.
You could share an affair with dashing Vronsky
elope with him and leave behind your husband
abandon your beloved son, Alexei.

But these were not the dreadful choices
sealing your tragic fate, my dear Anna.
It was those ****** feelings you chased
all based on the sin of selfishness.
You fed on romance, passion and desire.
Your hot-hunger was insatiable, a fire
rip-roaring through restraint and all decorum
You sweated and panted wild for ******.

They say you’re a ‘drama queen’; heartless and mean
a woman undone by excess, always longing to undress
nakedly making grand errors of judgement.
By ignoring Tatyana’s fine example, you certainly forgot
there will always be those who tot up the ledger.
Your blood debt was owing, it had to be paid.

You saw the light at the end of the tunnel -
cool down, Anna, let the raw feelings subside
be watchful, wary and ever-ready to step aside
let the moments of  menace and gloom drain –
it might just be an oncoming train is due.

© M.L.Emmett 2016
Writing a series of poems about women in literature. Anna Karenina is the title character from  Tolstoy's great novel.
Build in a very humble way
Its architecture redolent of Europe,
Plain and honest in structure,
The vestibule at the entrance
Replete with old hardbound books
Dust covering the jackets
In their agony of human oblivion,
Every section has shelves under lock
Only to be open on permitted access.

Located in the desert like an oases,
But the desert of readers not waters,
But like any other oasis, it is useful,
At most to the genuine users.

There are books and books all over,
Windows only open after adjustment,
You start at the door step with classics,
Indian, European, American and global classics,
I pumped into Leo Tolstoy at the first glance,
Finely juxtaposed; Anne Karenina after War and peace.

I opened war and peace and I chanced on Napoleon
Then thrill of intellect and bliss of art
Began flowing into my guts like a river
I kept on wandering why Leo Tolstoy
Never became a Christian sub religion,
To be added to the two testaments,
For it to begat the post-modern holy Bible.

My physical peregrination of the hand
Led me to a vase of rosy wine
Its intellectual whiff surpassing all,
The psalms of David and songs of songs
This was nothing but precious discovery;
A thousand Rubiyats of Omar Khayyam
The shoulder of wisdom and love of God
The hero of Sufism and demystifier of heaven,
When in fact I came unto his 69th Rubiyat;
I have heard people say
that those who love wine are ******.
That can't be true, that clearly is a lie.
For if lovers of wine and love are bound for hell,
heaven would be quite empty!

I chewed and chewed fortune out of Rubiyats,
I went through all the thousand Rubiyats,
Only hot Sun and desert sand storms of Lodwar
Are my witnesses among the myriads of bystanders
As life of a reader is similar to the life a writer,
They both derive energy from solitude’s power.

I moved on again to Alfred Jarren
The son of France, the father of mystery;
Pataphysics the science of fantasy
It has the realm beyond metaphysics,
His survey of pataphorical world
Has remained witchcraft
Beyond my simple soul’s grasp.

Paradox is one other worldwide wonder
As I look at an illiterate Turkana Man,
Guarding the library, club in his hand,
His ever week from stubborn hunger,
His sires never go to school, perhaps culture
I looked at him often in my pause for muse,
Why guard knowledge that you can’t use?

I again came upon the Quran
I read it voraciously over and again,
In expectation of great knowledge
Always making Muslims to be noisy,
I have found nothing great in the Quran,
Only regular subversions of Biblical grammar,
Let Muslims sober up to respect Jesus Christ,
His sermon on the Mountain is perfectly enough
as an impeachment to crazed pataphoricals
That Muslims often dare the world with.

I read the Bible again in repetition
Of what I had did ten years ago,
I read psalms, Job and Isaiah,
Gospels and epistles are more nice,
Chronicles and Habakkuk are so dull,
Lamentations are somber poems,
Revelations are esoteric lies,
Kings and Samuel full of chauvinism,
Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are mere clichés
My idea is; mankind can fear God
Minus Jewish intervention.

Now I chanced upon The synagogue of Satan,
A book written by one other crazy American,
His name is Andrew Hitchcock Crichton,
The book is long and spellbinding,
Having historical facts from early centuries,
Chronicling mysterious growth of Jewish empire,
Arranging facts one after another
Dismissing Bush’s anger against Arabs,
Over the bombing of the twin towers
When they are the Jews who Bombed America
As a decoy to induce American wrath,
Thus twin towers bombing was Jewish war ploy
To put Arabs into a rat’s corner.

I came across one funny book
Written by a Indian sage
Its title was Secrets of ***
From male perspective,
I don’t liked the book
For its prurient content,
But to my sad chagrin it was the most read
Its leaves were dog eared and use worn
I spied into the rumour about its tearing,
T it was a hot cake among nuns and priests
Presently living at Lodwar cathedral.

You could also wonder my dear brother
Why a Christian library has works of Marx?
This was my muse as I read Karl Marx,
I mean everything written by Karl Marx,
From Das Kapita to Germany Philosophy,
Selected works to Poverty of philosophy,
18th Brumaire to Integral calculus,
The Manifesto to the letters,
I read Karl Marx as if I was in Russia,
I wondered why Catholics are Liberal
They fear not those who contradict them.

The Holy Grail is visibly placed
In fact at right hand corner,
At the far end on your entrance
I chose to read it
Because of its voluminousity,
The book is about ****** life
Of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene,
This book shares out that;
One time Jesus was found hiding,
Kissing Mary Magdalene, the Grail
In the most affectionate manner ever.

The catholic Library at Lodwar is bad news
It swallowed me like waters of Indian Ocean,
It is located at place called Lokiriama,
It was established by Bishop Mahoni
One other man deserving my respect
He was humble and catholically wise,
Very intelligent and consciously bookish,
His mission was to make the Turkana people
A modern community, but he failed,
He was so disappointed to his hilt
He transferred to the Archdioceses of New-York
Where he began facing problems of the law
On allegations of him being a *******,
I curse the devil for such temptations.

I did meet Yan Martel in this dome of books
His famous book; Life of Mr. Pi
It was my eye opener?
It transformed me from a village bumpkin
To a modern reader of global literature,
I read this book amid my fear of Tigre
But I was thrilled, to my bone marrow
When the main character drunk the blood,
Warm salty blood of the sea turtle.

I got another book with folded pages,
At its mid was the red book marker
Baring the name of the respected priest,
The book was entitled; How to excel as
A ****-******, chapter one focused on gays
Chapter two  focused on lesbians,
But the rest of the book was all homosexuality,
In nothing else, but rosiest terms.

On such encounters I once again went back,
To re-read 89th Rubiyat of Omar Khayyam
It has the following quatrain to echo;
Looking for peace on earth? Foolishness.
Believing in eternal calm? Foolishness.
Once dead your sleep will be short. You may
be reborn as a clump of weeds that will be
trodden underfoot, or as a flower that
will wither in the sun's heat.

African writers were stuffed on one shelve
Labeled African books of English expressions,
But on my request to the project manager,
His name was Peter Kebo, he was Flamboyant
And physically indifferent to Turkana poverty,
We agreed with him to rename the shelves
As; African literature in English Language,
Nobel Laureates are in this section;
Soyinka, Lessing, Coatze and Gordimer
Not forgetting the Egyptian literary tiger
In the name of Mahfouz or Maguiz
I clearly don’t know,
Sembene Ousmane is also here
I read him again for the fourth time,
It’s when I found out the simple truth,
That God’s bits of wood, translates as;
The wretched of the earth,
I read Lessing’s Grass is singing,
She likes ***,
I read Gordimer’s July’s people,
She likes menstrual blood,
I read everything here
As published by James Currey
In his Africa writes back,
I also read the White African Nobelite
Joshua Maxwell Coetzee
He is a wizard of Narrative literature,
I read his life of Mr. K.
I found amusing plots and amusing themes,
I also read Ngugi’s Wizard of the Crow
It is nice; Ngugi is still fighting dictatorship,
Not physically but in a metaphysical manner.

I was again lucky enough
To chance on Caribbean literature,
Is when I read Vitian S Naipaul
The humourist Marxist of Marxists,
I read his Mr. Biswas’s house,
With avidness of an aphrodisiac cur,
His characters like taking a long time
In the toilets, Naipaul is good,
I again chanced on George Flamming
In the Castle of my skin
Caribbean literature stinks of slavery
And counter-slavery.

My landing to the shelve of Latin America,
Was a total blessing; Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Stood out like tor of literature among others,
I began with his Big Maria’s Funeral,
Then I moved on to Love in Times of Cholera,
And then You Can’t Write to the Colonel,
As I spiced my intellect with Melancholic *****,
Then finally I revisited his Stories from Africa
And the Hundred Years of Solitude,
The following morning when I came back,
I read in the newspaper that;
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is dead!
It was sad and poor of me, I mourned him
With long essays and somber poetry,
Then I fell in love with the literatures
of Spanish origin in language sense,
I read Octavio Paz and Pablo Neruda
From Octavio I enjoyed coda,
Between Coming and Going and so on,
Neruda thrilled me with his sense of Marx
Especially his poem; on burying the dog.

European classics section arrested me
I never easily moved out of there,
I chanced on ****** and annals of Goebbels,
Reading Russians like Tolstoy,Chenkov,
Gorky, Gogol and Shelynetsyn was lively,
Chewing Shakespeare from cover to cover
Not spearing Pushkin nor Homer,
Victor Hugo was a relish. Emile Zola
And Maugham, I too enjoyed…

Then my holiday in Lodwar was finally over,
But I am soon going back for my Xmas,
I will directly go back to the European section,
I also remember having come by;
The Satanic Verses of Salman Rushdie,
I will have to  re-read it with passion,
It is my prayer that this time comes
For I to resume my holy duty
In the Catholic Library at Lokiriama
In Lodwar Dioceses of Turkana County
In the Savannah desert in North West
Regions of my country Kenya.
islam  Dec 2013
Anna Karenina
islam Dec 2013
Her own desire led her astray,
a smile from him was enough to ignite the fire.
The serpent wrapped itself around her neck. She couldn't run away,
She thought they were the enemy, she found her society so dire.

"Why linger here? Why turn another page?" She though to herself.
She walked to where she first died,
and there she commited suicide.