A Silent Flower ~ Cinquain

A little bit of hope was kept alive in Aleppo where a man tended a garden to give people hope of a future with his plants.  I read an article about him and his son who worked with him.  People would buy plants to plant on roundabouts etc to inspire rebuilding and regeneration. A short time later he was killed near the gardens and his son is alone now.

I have quoted his father’s words and embellished a little.  I urge once more, if ever you can help in these ongoing situations, please do.  The world is our family and we need to help each other more.

I don’t need to go far these days without meeting tragedy head on.  Today we suffered a blow here in the UK, but will carry on as the rest of the world is doing.  Sometimes, we have only to look to someone’s generosity and spirit, despite their tragic existence, to realise we are still very, very lucky.

A Silent Flower

Nourish
the heart and soul
keep peace within all life –
the essence of the world lies in
flowers

 

Silent Night

1527078_627750440593934_371272012_n

Sorry to bring the gloom once more but for a lot, it never ends, and my meagre efforts are always warmly supported by all of you and I thank you, so I guess they will be in your hearts too.   I sincerely hope that you and yours have a magical time this year.

Apart from my Daily Challenge, (Santa won’t stop me) I will be back reading/writing in the New year proper.

While chill winds flutter,
warm hearts at midnight stutter,
from deathly sounds awakening in
zestful dreams that shed daydreams.
Gusts are amiss, amid the
snowdrops and mortar strewn.
Remnants lay bitter till the end.
where absence is present,
and the present lies in ruins.
We mourn the loss of Yuletide –
where is Father Christmas?

Hope is all but silent,
eyes still shine brightly but
their minds wander
and memories take hold.
Imaginations bring sleigh bells,
illuminations cast out doubt,
ringing the changes of disbelief,
when witness to faith goes walkabout.

While warm hearts grieve
and sorrow is let loose on Christmas Eve’s
night, silence is quite rightly taken
for broken promises and snow laden dreams.
Children will sleep till the morrow
without a secret smile inside the hurt and sorrow,
Their fitful sleep will never know the footfall
of reindeers over snow,
but I hope something inside tells them
we will be there, one day safety will belong
to their nightfall –
one day – when the world finally asks,
‘Where is Father Christmas?’

Irony of War ~ Appeal

syria_winter_christmas_2016

Not only faced with the brutality of war, this winter sees a harsh reality for many – to be killed by bombing or starvation.  No doubt we have our own special charities and do the best we can, but if you have even a tiny drop to spare, please send it their way.  I was influenced by a massive campaign currently by Unicef asking on behalf of  war weary, starving people and their children this winter.  Hospitals and schools have been under increasing attack (deliberately). More and more civilians and their children are under siege and being used as human shields against the painstaking advancements that are being made; hundreds more are dying each week and thousands are displaced and hungry… add winter to all of that.  I make no apologies for trying and thank you sincerely for reading and, hopefully, for caring and making a donation.

 Winter’s naked bones
suffocate trembling hunger
A war’s wicked salve

Not a Green and Pleasant Land

aleppo.jpg

And on that green hill far away,
a city cries its loose, parched, grey stone;
it drizzles beside wizened honeysuckle
and yellowing foliage – unkempt and sprawling –
an analogous mass too decimated to be held
or remembered – it is in shock, in brutal denial,
in the middle of it all.
There was once a sight most beautiful,
a sight to please us all.
What was that stuff, that sense, that will
that lead us once to glory? Where is the light
that died in us – or so says an ancient story?

Atavistic shadows seek turmoil and unrest;
we dare not speak the words that once
were given. Smothered from head to toe;
blood cursed eyes are set aglow – victims
inside the garb of spirituality, are hiding in cities
without walls –  neither in or out – nothing to see
especially mustard gas and myriad chemical
weapons afloat on unsuspecting air and its people;
there are no alarm bells and it escapes bloody knuckles
when it comes knocking, penetrating ghostly,
invisible arms which have no means to protect
or barricade against evil and war’s hunger.

Screams run freely when children run from the crumbs
that are side streets, but there is nowhere to hide;
shells have no ceilings, inside there are no walls –
dead bodies lie neither in or out – death doesn’t know about
cement, or boundaries, nor does it know about peace
or a suffocating child’s burning eyes, innocence,
a parent praying for death, or politics or religion,
or…whatever it is we are allowing inside of these
non existent walls and… outside of them.

 

14 Million Children (Tetractys)

syria

14 Million Children Suffering as Result of War in Syria and Iraq, and surrounding areas Unicef Says.

hush
a cry
lullaby
morbid songs choke
butterflies asleep in dust of cocoons.

Pain
a sigh
fist to sky
streaks of skin
blemished by nightmares, deep scars of anger.

Tetractys, a poetry form invented by Ray Stebbing, consists of at least 5 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20).

War Baby

Another contribution from me to the Poets for Peace initiative.  If you would like to take part you have until end of this month.  Your efforts would be most appreciated.

***Future and previous contributors are asked to email mzanemcclellan@outlook.com giving permission along with name/url/location/ if you would like to be included in Praxis magazine. Please pass this message if you can.***

Children_In_iraq-iran_war4

Two World Wars and Counting …
In World War One less than five per cent of the casualties were civilians – with today’s conflicts and wars the figure is nearer 75%.

War baby –
once a bundle of mixed acquaintance,
temporary, hurried, desperate -joy.
Love ceased when war began.

War baby –
is war; a disfigured bundle no one wants to heal;
permanent, scarred, tragic.
Lives ending as many wars begin.

War baby –
his bloodlust flows within blood –
conflicts- hostilities-civil war- religion- politics
all given more oxygen than its victims.

Peace baby –
wants to stitch together old wounds
extremism-radical eyes-terrorism-fear –
gaping sores, rancid hopes, let clean air help them heal.

Peace baby –
tries to broker for change in the dust and rubble
but cherubs still cry beyond wire mesh –
gods and people are tired, and YOU are not worthy.

 

Dream Like Dali

Picture source: Salvador Dali 1904 – 1989

Majestically striding to the edge of sun baked
sand like an hourglass held up by time,
she became still; her long legs equidistant

man lay heel to toe with a savage sun –
humanity encrusted with parched earth,
it had partially eaten him –

a dried out white dove clung
to an exposed ribcage; a much needed perch
for a wasted observer
tired of flying,
tired of singing,
lost in his search for peace.
Its feathers, etched from
fine, dried clay – were fissure
like veins devoid of faith – baked
outside of death,
badly in need of rest.

Her elongated shadow buried
them both before she knelt on the earth
for water to pour from dainty,
silver rivulets
that ran her body,
which was smooth
and flowing sand

he watched her rise,
striking the sky
with her cool, black silhouette
but on the floor it lay
outstretched – as an amber pool
of honey;
he placed in it his hand
to taste her

immediately, he was quenched, fed.  Arid skin
of dust and clay fell away as did the shell of the dove,
which had replaced his heart –
its wings shattered
into a thousand pieces like baby soft powder
dusting the gritty, sparkling floor

in the breeze, billowing white clouds
conjured a magnificent
topaz bird; its plumage was a thousand lights
of peaceful nights held in its tail eyes
of beautiful iridescence –
tail eyes that had once glimpsed peace
in a thousand colours: turquoise, ocean green
and gold …

quill feathers wafted the zircon grains
of the sand, writing new rules,
posturing and reshaping –

beautiful but cruel foundations of peacock ore
too brittle to walk on, created swank waves
of peacock blues,

and it strutted till a thousand feathers
fell on the sand
to rise again as blood red poppies
that poured in an avalanche from the gaping
mouths of soldiers still inside tin helmets –
grown men like babes still fighting
inside their dreams

he tried to pick the wild flowers for her
but barbed, razor wire snagged
his crumbling fingers,
and hidden behind those were children’s faces
pressed against wire mesh
on the shores of green, unpleasant oceans
that gulped and gagged; force fed a rigorous diet
of helplessness and hope
each time sand was flipped inside the hourglass

he gripped her waist
but as his reflection caught on her glass bosom
it shattered her hourglass frame

she was released

a thousand more grains of sand
flowed like the salt
of his tears – sprinkled gently
from a watering can’s wise rose
trying to feed the presumption of green
leaves between his toes

his flaking sinews were drawn
to his chest; he wore a small hole
where the dove had nestled –
dust stung his eyes
before his tattered hand rose to form a bridge
that the sun rode across
to join him at his journey’s end

red jewel fish swam ahead of her
in shoals of beating hearts –
riders corralled the sand storm’s cloth
approaching like a whirling dervish;
her titian hair draped those black, almond desert eyes,

and their glinting sunlit flecks
consumed time in their frenzy –
she placed the convergence; a plump,
red heart
within his rib cage,

she was a belly dancer for a while
on the sand’s hypnotic gyrations
prompting creatures with a spin of time
to play music
inside of their shells

her lips were kissed by
one thousand butterflies, and her open palms
let loose a chorus of small white doves;
all of the notes to harmonise man’s discord –
all willing one more time to fly away
in a relentless search for peace and to sing
for another one thousand years –

time enough, she thought, before they’d need
a place to rest

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