Article Category Archives: Poetry

Discussion de Famille

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Je sais que tu es là,
Ma voix ne sait pas,
Il joue une clé de sol sur un alto;
“Je t’aime,” ne signifie rien.

Mon esprit est avec vous.
Mes mots ne sont pas.
L’espace entre nous est l’air,

Perdue dans la traduction.

Mon cœur se bat,
Ma mère hurlant jusqu’à ce qu’elle pleure.

Le vôtre cœur et le voix ne peuvent pas pleurer.
Un petit viola joue des chansons brillantes.
Tes sons bouillonnants sont une symphonie du joi.

Mes mots ne sont pas le vôtre.
L’espace entre nous est l’aire que le bruit ne passera pas.

les petit mains,
me serrant.

Il y a pas d’espace entre nous:

Une clef de sole et une clef de base.
“Je t’aime,” est quand ma petit cousine me prend dans ses bras.

Mémoires d’une vieille maison acadienne

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Jeune homme
C’est toi qui m’a bâtie et soigneusement réparée.
Jeune femme
C’est toi qui m’a aimée, nettoyée, remplie avec ta famille.
Ici vous avez passé toute votre vie ensemble.

Tu as rempli le poêle à bois
Fabriqué six chaises, une table et le bureau blanc dans la chambre de Marie-Hélène
Caréné le châssis du suête
Joué le violon
Mangé et bu ton saoul.

Tu as lavé le plancher avec une brosse
Boulangé, six jours par semaine
Broché des bas et des mitaines.
Tu as chanté, en travaillant
Récité le chapelet, le soir après souper.
Tu as berçé tes neuf enfants.

Ici, vous vous êtes aimés.
Vous avez grandi, en riant, en pleurant,
Avec vos enfants.
Vous avez vieilli
Vous êtes morts maintenant
Mais votre maison demeure encore
Et elle parle de vous.

To Dye or Not to Dye

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Fifty Shades of Grey by Robyn Martelly


To Dye or Not to Dye

To dye or not to dye, that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler to let the grey hairs win
And reveal the age she truly is,
Or to take arms against the march of time
And hit the Clairol aisle at Shoppers. To dye—to streak,
Or more; and by dyeing to hide
The roots and faded follicles
That dot the ageing scalp: ‘tis a temptation
Difficult to resist. To dye—to streak;
To streak, perchance with foils—ay, there’s the rub:
For in that choice to dye what costs may come,
When she must colour every month or so,
Must give her pause—there’s the price
That makes expense of so long life.
Yet who would bear the tyranny of age,
The dismissive glance, the cheery “Dear”
The assumed discount on Seniors Days
The insolence of youth and the scorn
Of techie geeks
When she herself might fix it all
With a single flask of dye?
She ponders highlights, hues, and tones,
Till a nagging question wracks her brain.
“Why not be who I truly am?
To hell with turning back the clock!”
And thus the needless plans to dye,
Are cast off with a single thought:
“I’m free of this, let the grey begin
I shall embrace my silver locks.”

With apologies to William Shakespeare

The Reclamation

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When young I ran
loose and barefoot
Over partially colonised fields
and tide-transmuted rock.
Not pausing to consider the life
crushed underfoot
Or the millennia sharply pressed
into my tender arches.
I just wanted to splash, mindlessly
Into the water.

I am still barefoot, but circumspect.
And cognisant of the grass
Between my toes.

I think if I stand for a time
The blades will grow long
and cover my legs
Ants will march up and find refuge
in my bellybutton
Wild roses will entwine
my pubis, and my breasts
will provide nest space for swallows.
My ears will be repurposed for hives
by fat bees, and my nose will prove a
quiet place for chrysalides.

And if I follow the new-born butterflies
To the shore of my youth
I will not splash, but float,
Arms spread wide and toes splayed,
allowing fish to nibble my skin
for sustenance.
And if the seaweed reclaims my hair
as its own
And pulls me down to the Basin floor
to live with the hermit crabs and periwinkles

I will not resist.

Waiting by Sally Warren

Busting Bollywood and
Aged Cumin

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Busting Bollywood — A Ghazal

Fair, light, gori gori of course.
Mukherjee Sunderji is she.
Vibrations and hips in sync.
Unnatural crimson is she.

You are so young. You are so ripe.

Cinema lights are bright and bold.
Dalit untouchable is she.
Unbutton more, the director nudges.
Hijra with henna hands is she.

You look so young. You are a peach.

Say no this time.
You can refuse.
Lips are sealed. No kissing. Body is rock is she.

You are a doll. You are an angel.

One more take and scene is rough.
Playback singer Bollywood glam.
Tickets sold. Masala snacks in hand.
It will be all worth it.

A young starlette is born.


Galaxy by Sherry Lynn Jollymore


Aged Cumin — A Ghazal

I use the mortar that grinds his scent from my neck.
Grind and crush away the Old Spice of his sweat.
Oil, ghee, sweet rice and green cardamom, elaichi, together.
The pan is hot and ready.

I am aging. I am of age.

I hide the spatula once again. He can no longer use it on me.
I know better. I know where to hide, to hide it, to hide me.
Of all my lust trapped in this kitchen, my hair will not be pulled.
When I burn the biryani or over-salt the kebabs, his mirchi fingers become a fist.

I have wisdom. I am ready.

Bruises are never black, my mother reminds me.
Bruises are sometimes blue, my father tells me.
The tandoor is not in use anymore, my heart knows this.
The bleeding stopped last year when the sweating never ended.

I will not mourn any more lost babies.

Bleeding lip and turmeric to hide the scars, my grandmother once told me.
I have no fresh cumin anymore. Rancid zeera, no flavour, just blackish seeds in a jar.
With my throbbing chest, with my breasts, I feel.
I will not be torn anymore.

I am aging. I am of age.

Rub the mango. I share the seeds. Grind it fresh, for my daughter and her daughter.
Garam Masala in the rogan josh.
He bites and eats and savours it and is pleased. Satiation.
He will not complain about it anymore.

I have aged.