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Ava Weiland Sep 2019
I can't decide
whether to
cut
the splinter out
or wait
for it to
heal over.
Ava Weiland Sep 2019
dung beetles
are my favorite beetle
because I feel like
giggling
when I see one.
Ava Weiland Sep 2019
a male lion
lay motionless
in the shade.
his fashionably disheveled mane
and swollen belly
gave me comfort
until he
opened his
eyes.
Ava Weiland Sep 2019
I like the
deep color
of their skin
crafted
from soil
and wind.
these people are
powerful
enough to carry
the sun
inside
their bodies.
Ava Weiland Sep 2019
the people here
have no illusory separation
from their land

small, bare-armed boys
pause from herding goats
to glance over
Ava Weiland Sep 2019
the goat was completely alive
and then it was completely lifeless
if there was an in-between
I could not tell where it ended
or began.
Henry Koskoff Oct 2017
i give a couple hundred dollars to the orcas on charity night
which is the night that isn’t so great because I don't get anything

i go to an orphanage in Kenya
and it’s not fun

maybe because I have look them in the eyes
or maybe because it's just not fun

my brother is really involved and I am not

he makes the few small dents that he can with the insufficient chisel that he was given
he works tirelessly

and I just say “**** it”
and I throw my chisel on the ground and instead pick up my laptop and watch netflix

moroccan women line the streets with chipped teeth and black gums

some with babies
some with groceries

their backs disfigured and their skin corroded
by the weight of responsibility
and mom and I pass by them at 45 miles per hour

their stories are a blur
a mere glimpse
drowned amongst the picturesque landscapes

they are comfortably at bay
i have a satisfying distance from their days

we take the high road
across the Tichka Pass
which is surrounded by overwhelming purple mountaintops

that have the power to separate two worlds
that are indifferent to the meager tires of our jeep
that amount to more than I ever will
that I will never be able to appreciate enough

they taunt me with their greatness
they soak me in their pride

but the pass is covered in ice
so we will have to wait to go to the desert

and although I play a character that is flexible and understanding
i am a little annoyed that our precious little itinerary is ruined
bones of drought
rattle in the sky
the bones denote
a constant dry

no rains came to quench
they were absent
on the Kenyan mound
an arid woe
remaining around

the land morbidly dead
of life's elation
it vanished in the sun's
unrelenting evaporation

people starved by
unrealized crop
cattle thirsted for
a watering drop

and a parching  famine
dwells in Africa's well
the fountain of survival
a desperate hell

bones of drought
rattle on high
the rattle speaks
of an empty sky
aid agencies implore
the world to give
so that fellow humans
can go onto live
When ever I touch the ground that’s hot
With the sole of my foot that’s bare,
I never fail to recall a time,
And the memories lingering there,
Of a day when I was just a boy,
Beneath equatorial skies,
And the tactic used to keep me indoors
While the missionaries rested their eyes.

My mother was sick with malaria
The curse of the tropic zone,
And while my dad was away on the hunt
Their station became our home.
And after lunch when the sky was hot
And the morning’s work was done
They took my shoes away from me
To keep me out of the sun.

The veranda air was still as a grave,
Not a sound to could be heard outside
Save the click-click-click from the beetles
And the grasshoppers jumping to hide.
Or the scratching scaly slither,
Of a snake on the flowerbed verge,
Or the distant cry of the crested crane,
These are the sounds that merge.

The sight of the distant Koru hills
Shimmering in the haze
Beyond the frangipani trees
Return once more to my gaze,
And the prickly spiky Crown of Thorns
That lined the garden ways,
These are the sights that ribbon back
From my early Kenyan days.

The smell of the room was a mixture
Of scents on the garden air,
And creosote coming up through the floor
From the pilings under there,
And paraffin from the pressure lamps
Which hissed as they gave us light.
With the hint of oil of pyrethrum
Sprayed round the eves at night.

The step to my door should I venture
At noon was as hot as a stove,
The soil on the paths and driveway
Would burn if ever I strove.
And the thorns in the earth would pr ick me
As I cautiously picked my way through
To the shade of the frangipani tree,
From there I took in the view.

So, when ever I touch the ground that’s hot
With the sole of my foot that’s bare,
I never fail to recall a time,
And the memory lingering there,
Of a day when I was just a boy,
Where the images I find,
Set smells and sights and sounds of
Africa sizzling in my mind.

Redding, California July 4th 2005 temperature 105° Fahrenheit
As a boy I was raised in Kenya, and our first home was way up country in a place called Koru.  My father’s work took him away from home on extended hunting trips.  During one of these absences my mother had a bout of malaria, and we went to stay at a mission station run by the Röetikinen sisters. I believe they were Lutheran missionaries.  At mid-day when the day was hottest, they always rested, and they wanted us children to stay in our room and be still.  They confined us there by taking away our shoes.
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