Writer’s Poem: Fear

Writer’s Poem: Fear

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Today’s poem talks about the murder of a harmless spider. I don’t know whats it with poets and the killing of insects. Charles Lamb also wrote a poem (thoughtless cruelty) which was about killing a fly. But I digress. In this poem, Nikki Giovanni briefly contemplates the logic behind her killing of a spider who did nothing to her, except that she was frightened of it. Is her fear a valid reason to cause harm to it.

A lot of people have used this poem to talk about the happenings of today, especially, the killings of black people by some white cops based on the irrational reason of fear. They feared the black person and they shot the black person. Ridiculous, I know, but it happens, sadly. Let me know what you think about the poem below.

Allowables by Nikki Giovanni

I killed a spider
Not a murderous brown recluse
Nor even a black widow
And if the truth were told this
Was only a small
Sort of papery spider
Who should have run
When I picked up the book
But she didn’t
And she scared me
And I smashed her

I don’t think
I’m allowed

To kill something

Because I am

Frightened

On to today’s question. Tam asks: What was the inspiration behind randoms by a random?

Haha I’ve actually answered this question before. But here goes again, there was zero inspiration behind this blog. Like, I don’t even know why I started the blog in the first place, but it most definitely was not supposed to be a poetry or a mental health blog, which it is now. I think I just wanted to try my hands in so many things, inspirational writes ups and other random things. I wanted to experiment, and hence its random name “Randoms by a random”. I really need to get a better name.

I hope that answers the question. Thank you Tam.

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Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss

Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss

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Writer’s poem Wednesday is back. The past few months I was away, I came across some great poems which were previously unfamiliar to me. I love striking a chord with new poetry. Today’s poem talks about a woman whose son resembles her deceased brother, both in mannerism and physically. Its a beautiful reflection of the aftermath of the death of a loved one. I hope you like it.

A drink of water by Jeffrey Harrison

When my nineteen-year-old son turns on the kitchen tap
and leans down over the sink and tilts his head sideways
to drink directly from the stream of cool water,
I think of my older brother, now almost ten years gone,
who used to do the same thing at that age;

and when he lifts his head back up and, satisfied,
wipes the water dripping from his cheek
with his shirtsleeve, it’s the same casual gesture
my brother used to make; and I don’t tell him
to use a glass, the way our father told my brother,

because I like remembering my brother
when he was young, decades before anything
went wrong, and I like the way my son
becomes a little more my brother for a moment
through this small habit born of a simple need,

which, natural and unprompted, ties them together
across the bounds of death, and across time …
as if the clear stream flowed between two worlds
and entered this one through the kitchen faucet,
my son and brother drinking the same water.

Silver Linings-

Silver Linings-

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She wants to read about
romance, in an atmosphere
of scented roses. How to get the one
your eyes are set at; the heart’s
flutterings at the sound of a voice;
The thought of a face.

I want to write of sadness
and grief; the atmosphere of
grey clouds on a summer day. How
the mind works from the fateful day,
when the fruit of one’s womb,
Departs from earth.

I want to write about silver
linings after a stormy weather.
The ways of grief, and society’s
Alloted time stamp.
How a mind overwhelmed by
darkness, can survive another
sunrise and sunset.
I want to write about hope.

Writer’s Poem: Loneliness

Writer’s Poem: Loneliness

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Have you ever wished you could leave your loneliness behind and it would never catch up to you? I do understand, sometimes, it is one of those experiences which is part and parcel of life. But at times, loneliness stays for a longer time than it is wanted.

Loneliness is not spending the day all alone in your room. It creeps up on us and wraps it cold arms around us, regardless, if we are alone or in a crowd. No wonder, we sometimes wish we could leave it behind. Today’s poem by the phenomenal writer, Naomi Shihab Nye, touches on this same topic in a few lines. I hope you enjoy it.

The Rider by Naomi Shihab Nye
A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,

the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.

What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.

A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.

Writer’s Poem: The past

Writer’s Poem: The past

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I came across a phenomenal African Poet today. Her poem was shared by “global citizen”. It fuelled my love of poetry, reminding me of the power poetry has to revolutionise the world. It reassure me that poets are here to make a statement, an impact and as a reminder. Especially, in places where oppression is rampant whether in visible or hidden forms.

I stalked the author and found that she has a blog here. Thank you very much Zuhuru Seng’enge for your poetry.

Do not fear the past by Zuhuru Seng’enge
Do not fear the past.
It is ugly
but it is ours,
Do not hold on to lies
That you were fed when you were young.
Learn the history of your people
Find the truth
to free your soul from evil
Learn the Qur-an
Learn the bible
Find the meaning of life and religion.
Do not fear the past.
It is painful
but it is real
Blood was spilt and people died
but love and unity had survived.
Learn the tongue of your ancestors
Reconnect with the roots of your blood
Find the knowledge
That was stolen
Find the life that was robbed from us.
Do not fear the past.
Embrace it
Let it teach you the wisdom of your race
Take its lessons and live by them
Own the identity that was erased.
Do not fear the past,
Do not hate it.
Do not fear the past,
Learn about it.
Let it teach you
Let it nurture you
Let it remind you, of who you are

Writer’s Poem: what can I say…

Writer’s Poem: what can I say…

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Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness,
It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”

The above quote is one I have seen roaming on the internet for years now, always the words, never the author. I only just found our today, It was written by the Pulitzer winner and incredible poet- Mary Oliver.

I have read a lot of Mary Oliver’s poems but connected with a only few- The poem I am sharing below is one of them. But then again, my choice of Poetry is something else. Either way, reading Mary Oliver’s poems gives one the sense that she is a woman in tune with nature. She writes a lot about nature and in soothing words.

Below is the poem I chose for this week’s writer’s Poem Wednesday. I hope you like it:

What can I say by Mary Oliver

What can I say that I have not said before?
So I’ll say it again.
The leaf has a song in it.
Stone is the face of patience.
Inside the river there is an unfinishable story
and you are somewhere in it
and it will never end until all ends.

Take your busy heart to the art museum and the
chamber of commerce
but take it also to the forest.
The song you heard singing in the leaf when you
were a child
is singing still.
I am of years lived, so far, seventy-four,
and the leaf is singing still.

Writer’s Poem: Our Silence…

Writer’s Poem: Our Silence…

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Have you heard of the term “Bystander efffect”. This came about after a 28 year old woman, Kitty, was raped, stabbed and murdered outside her apartment while 38 people looked on and did nothing.

This led to a research carried out in 1969, five years after Kitty’s murder, which was termed Bystander Apathy (effect). Basically, it proved that the more people there are available in an emergency situation, the less likelihood there is for someone to intervene.

Today’s poem reminds me of this story and forgive me for starting this post with a downer. But, I thought to share it because I believe we all need a reminder that as heavy as our words, our silence is also heavy too.

Town watches them take Alfonso by Ilya Kaminsky

Now each of us is
a witness stand:

Vasenka watches us watch four soldiers throw Alfonso Barabinski on the sidewalk.
We let them take him, all of us cowards.
What we don’t say
we carry in our suitcases, coat pockets, our nostrils.

Across the street they wash him with fire hoses. First he screams,
then he stops.
So much sunlight—

a t-shirt falls off a clothes line and an old man stops, picks it up, presses it to his face.
Neighbors line up to watch him thrown on a sidewalk like a vaudeville act: Ta Da.
In so much sunlight—
how each of us
is a witness stand:

They take Alfonso
And no one stands up. Our silence stands up for us.

https://biologydictionary.net/bystander-effect/

Writer’s Poem: The way it sometimes is

Writer’s Poem: The way it sometimes is

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Have you ever seen a face in a crowd which reminds you of someone. Someone, a phantom whom you can’t put a name to but yet, you strongly believe you must have seen someone who looks like that before.

Today’s poem for Writer’s poem Wednesday tackles the same issue. It really is an interesting read (if I do say so myself). I first came across it being recited on Poetry Out Loud, and well, the reciter won the nationwide contest for that year. Hope you enjoy the poem.

The Way It Sometimes is by HENRY TAYLOR
At times it is like watching a face you have just met,
trying to decide who it reminds you of—
no one, surely, whom you ever hated or loved,
but yes, somebody, somebody. You watch the face

as it turns and nods, showing you, at certain angles,
a curve of the lips or a lift of the eyebrow
that is exactly right, and still the lost face
eludes you. Now this face is talking, and you hear

a sound in the voice, the accent on certain words—
yes! a phrase . . . you barely recall sitting outside,
by a pool or a campfire, remarking
a peculiar, recurring expression. Two syllables,

wasn’t it? Doorknob? Bathroom? Shawcross? What the hell
kind of word is shawcross? A name; not the right one.
A couple of syllables that could possibly be
a little like something you may once have heard.

So the talk drifts, and you drift, sneaking glances,
pounding your brain. Days later a face occurs to you,
and yes, there is a resemblance. That odd word, though,
or phrase, is gone. It must have been somebody else.

Yes, it’s like that, at times; something is, maybe;
and there are days when you can almost say what it is.

Writer’s Poem Wednesday: Be Kind!

Writer’s Poem Wednesday: Be Kind!

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Welcome to another Writer’s Poem Wednesday! This blog is still here because of every single one of you who reads it.

Last year, we got over 30,000 views and over 17,000 visitors! Thank you so much. I have been a lazy writer and recently and Unfortunately, it may last till the end of January. I do apologise for it, the muse is there, the words are in my head, but for some reason, I just dont want to sit and write or read. Has anyone gone through it too? 

Today’s poem is by a poet, whose writing reminds me of Nikki Giovanni. The poem talks about dealing with our fellow human beings with “kindness” in a subtle manner. She reflects, how wonderful this world would be if everyone treated the other as a father treats his child- with sensitivity. She is Naomi shihab Nye and  I hope you enjoy the poem 

Shoulders by Naomi Shihab Nye
A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.

This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo
but he’s not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,
HANDLE WITH CARE.

His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy’s dream
deep inside him.

We’re not going to be able
to live in this world
if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing
with one another.

The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.

Lets talk-

Lets talk-

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Lets talk about the little girl,
On her way back from school,
Whose stars were grasped
from the future and squashed;
Whose fire was doused without
Reaching its peak;
Whose spotlight was dimmed,
Whilst her stage was just being
Built…

Lets talk about how poets
Have a duty to uphold;
To speak out for the young one
Whose future was stolen,
A bundle of innocence:
Robbed by those who know better,
Robbed by those who are part of us
A society to be held accountable.

Lets talk about the future,
In the words that we string along,
How to make a haven where,
Children can walk;
For the streets are made up
Of mere stone and rock,
Its we (humans) who make it,
Unsafe for all.
lets try to do better.
Lets try to be better…