Poem


Poem February 8, 2020

Omar Sakr
American Dirt

The once-white lady dipped her hands

into a faceless mass at the border

she said, I’m the one to give you a face

 

as if she wasn’t the one who stole it

in the first place, someone must humanise

the mass, the migrant caravan, the babies

 

as if people can ever be less than people,

where did that idea come from I wonder

but never mind that for now, let us return


Poem January 25, 2020

Ellen van Neerven
Paper ships, many fires

I know what you’re thinking

           how can we save the world?

                when we have barely

                      just survived it

when we have been disposed of

     raped and murdered

           erased and orphaned

                 and lost 90 per cent or more of our kin


Poem February 1, 2020

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Breath

the night before school starts,

                  our swimmer-tans fading,

 

we cheat, with gozleme,

from the woolworths fridge:

 

fry it golden, and crispy

on the heavy skillet

 

with slices of lemon,

       to acid through guilt


Poem December 21, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
When the decade broke

             the stroke of midnight,

december thirty-first, nineteen ninety-nine,

    was going to end the world

 

at the hospital,

     they brought generators in

 

even the food service staff

were kept till late evening

 

none of us would get to

                                                  aaaaah,

at the most expensive fireworks on earth,

        lighting up a new century:


Poem December 14, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Portfolio

the prime minister has

killed the department of the arts

                and is rolling arts in with rail and roads

 

all of us have encountered

  enough art

                     to know

 

         the devastation,

in this symbolism alone

 

 

                     as if nothing beautiful

      ever reached into his chest

and, beyond all logic,

                                        moved him:

 

        an exquisite string of words never

turned his world upside down,

                           or back upright again


Poem December 7, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Indiscretions

my grandma, she loved diana:

                    the people’s princess, after all

 

she’d say

                          that was no accident;

                  how convenient for the royals

 

squinting knowingly into the distance

in her eerie seer’s way

                  the princess more adored than royalty

                              and her brown sweetheart,

                                                              out of the way

 

 

history tells us

         british royalty are accountable

                                     to none


Poem November 30, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
The panther

                     quick-footed

and poor-visioned,

 

sumatran rhinos

      (unless raising young calf)

prefer

                to live alone

 

in solitary ease,

                   and singing their shadow


Poem December 21, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
When the decade broke

             the stroke of midnight,

december thirty-first, nineteen ninety-nine,

    was going to end the world

 

at the hospital,

     they brought generators in

 

even the food service staff

were kept till late evening

 

none of us would get to

                                                  aaaaah,

at the most expensive fireworks on earth,

        lighting up a new century:


Poem December 14, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Portfolio

the prime minister has

killed the department of the arts

                and is rolling arts in with rail and roads

 

all of us have encountered

  enough art

                     to know

 

         the devastation,

in this symbolism alone

 

 

                     as if nothing beautiful

      ever reached into his chest

and, beyond all logic,

                                        moved him:

 

        an exquisite string of words never

turned his world upside down,

                           or back upright again


Poem December 7, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Indiscretions

my grandma, she loved diana:

                    the people’s princess, after all

 

she’d say

                          that was no accident;

                  how convenient for the royals

 

squinting knowingly into the distance

in her eerie seer’s way

                  the princess more adored than royalty

                              and her brown sweetheart,

                                                              out of the way

 

 

history tells us

         british royalty are accountable

                                     to none


Poem November 30, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
The panther

                     quick-footed

and poor-visioned,

 

sumatran rhinos

      (unless raising young calf)

prefer

                to live alone

 

in solitary ease,

                   and singing their shadow


Poem November 23, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Arson

temptress

 

the redhead

         on the matchbox

is all charcoal lash

 

 

 

she wears a do it smile,

like eve’s

                   to adam


Poem November 16, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Surveillance

the blood-truth is:

 

it’s much less about the camera

           and much more to do with the body

that it’s worn on

 

the body with the baton

hanging from its belt, the body

in blue, the body on the cop beat

clenching fists around a point-blank

pepper-spray can, the body

who holds the rein, that rears the riot

horse, the body trained

to wield

                         the gun