Photo credit: Steve Johnson
Self-Portrait V: Bloom
When the weather lifts to the aria
of that warmer note, the flowers come;
chaos in perfectly choreographed order.
They come as children do,
as a smile that reaches the eyes.
They come as soldiers of the patient kind,
as those that choose to hold on against
that which will pass of its own accord.
And if this feeling is a cage then let me
dwell within it, for it is the same as
the warm winds and the screaming skies;
a belonging that reaches the inside
to cradle my heart after so very long.
I watch them bloom from the ashes of my skin,
the white bells, pure in any dark night,
shining at the rising of the sun, whilst
the light floods the plains of an art that is
unrivalled by any work of man.
Photo credit: Yafa Goawily
Where We Left
By Erin Thomas
We left at an awful time,
a barren road of crimes,
war and emotion – less people
nothing to hold but our children
Can we start where we left?
There is so much unsaid
so much left behind
and many left to die
In their misery and ours
we left for a better place
where we found our pace
among culture shock and new space
But then we grew far
from the land from which we came
our address was no more
even the house was smudged off maps
In spite, trying hard to fill the lapse
Oh dear, there are never ending gaps
between our mother-tongue and what we speak
to the food we eat and the songs we sing.
There is nothing left of home,
but we have made one of our own.
We hold the pages together in a book
which is as heavy as our hearts can carry;
We are nations set to roam
Rebellion is in our blood,
it runs through our veins and bones
Like our fore-fathers and theirs
who once fought for what was their own.
Photo credit: Takahiro Taguchi
I can’t yet tell you it’s okay
dry eyes, flooding brain
You can’t yet tell me what you’re going through
so you look to me, and I stare blankly back at you
I try to understand what’s going on
but all I say in confidence is that it won’t last long
You ask me not to change
I yearn too hard for your old ways
so I start to dance because it makes you laugh
and for a moment, it’s like the old days
I want to feed you all my energy
but you’re only hungry for my consistency
and not my numbing tricks.
Only then I start to realise,
‘Perhaps this isn’t something I can fix’
Now my eyes are growing wetter
because I suppose you’re right:
Feeling less won’t make you feel any better.
Photo credit: Viktor Talashuk
Anger, means we should hang her
Male anger is expression, pressed the recession into a session of emotions society can accept because it has testosterone
Something about which has a respectable tone, because you have a deep voice… you get to have one.
But to those who do not,
Know you are stronger,
They try to use that against you but they will fail.
You will prevail because your emotions are real.
You can feel the hurds of random brothers and sisters having to pick their Jaws back up off the ground as you make your case and erase what the last person just said.
But when anger shows up in a higher octave, then waves of disapproval run through as men and women alike gaze
Because manly anger is taking charge but femininity means your anger is insanity.
Must be that time of the month,
Mon ami don’t be angry… without cause
But they will learn, be churned into the existence of the tornado that can be found in your voice
Snapped into place at the sound of your call.
Because when you smile in moments of anger because you can feel the justice in your call beating through you as fast as your words.
You were right.
Photo credit: Lulwa Aburamadan
On a full moon’s Indigo night
She walks in grace, illuminating every sight,
Her eyes reflected all stars in the heaven combined
Her tresses as dark as the Charcoal night,
Lips as if kissed by a rose
Such was her magnetic allure,
Poems and ballads were all in her name
The alchemy of her beauty left no one sane,
But on one moonless night,
Jealously burned in a mortal’s sight
For the beauty she held, he wanted to own
As he vowed to make her the object of scorn,
The liquid fire burned through her skin,
Melting away her beauty but not her soul
She found her strength in that pain
Rose above the mortal disdain,
Her eyes still shone the fierce light
From the inferno building deep inside,
She embraced her scars like an ardent warrior
The kind she only saw in biased fairy tales,
But beauty isn’t always surface deep
It’s a whirlpool of chaos and harmony
It’s not just a face or a body, it’s a moral anatomy.
Photo credit: Lavi Picu
The Lost Boy
By Reham Yeshar
Beware of the lost hearts,
They tend to leave broken pieces behind
Beware of the wavering minds
They cling so loosely to our hands
We are fooled by boys who wear the skin of men
Who let their pride speak while their desire is silenced
Who think their scars are a story of failure and weakness
Who own a tongue drenched in lies
A journey I will not share, regardless if I care
You will not find yourself in me,
And you will not break me as you look for yourself
Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo
I fail to crawl out of my own skin
as a familiar craving fills my lungs
I breathe it in as it tries to tear me apart
I breathe it in but I can never exhale
because a craving doesn’t go away
unless you satisfy it
And so I try
to turn my ink
but the letters never seem to come out right
they never fulfill their purpose
They never form the right words
into the right sentences
into the right lines
Lines that I simply can’t seem to draw
Lines as hollow as my breath
Lines like a broken path
that I yearn to cross
But a broken path which remains
covered in the same dust as my untouched pen
and thus the craving keeps eating at me
my mind constantly searches
for something that I realize
isn’t really there…
because if it is truly there
then why is it so hard to reach it?
Photo credit: Yafa Goawily
All the Lights of the World
Turn off all the lights in the world
and my little hope
distribute it in small drops of rain
let it be imperceptible.
My thoughts are an avalanche
that will calm down quickly.
I love games in which
we are all winners.
Turn off all the lights in the world
and in the dark
I will find them
hot rates of sunset.
People with money will buy a name and a surname
and reputation and false respect
while the moon makes him company
to a stray traveler in time.
The walls are crumbling on me
and I become a rock
from which the wind refuses.
I saw the child looking in the snow,
makes me think I’m the last snowflake
which is melting from passion.
I pass by someone else’s rainbows
I move my soul
in a small suitcase
and forget about all the stones
from those who doubt
that I arrange the cubes correctly
in this life game.
I dream under an alien sky
and I hear unknown voices
while the stars
they speak to me in Macedonian.
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