Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm Your Ghost


Contrails mar a clear blue sky through opaque window pane
Clouded mind rubs tolerance against the sunbeam grain
Frenetic birds invisible flap frightened forever skyward
Scattered thoughts wrench to swing the tangled curtain cord
Floorboards creak and lampshades sway yellow fringe eyelashes
Eyelids clenched like fists against the phantom lightning flashes
Picture ghosts hang wooden squares in hollow-echoed halls
Dust and dreams in clouds do flee the feet that softly fall
In this house of secrets, house of books with numerous lost leaves
Gaping doors morose birds nest shelter in darkened amber eaves
The fireplace raked an eon past to leave this knot of ashes
And madness runs to safely seal those welded window sashes

9 comments:

Yodood said...

The integrity of refraining
participation in the crime
Is belied by abstaining
its prevention at the time

Suggested by the tension between your words and the atrocious picture above them — spoken as a teen-aged refugee from Mississippi.

Rrramone said...

Wow, so powerful.

jams o donnell said...

Powerful stuff Pisces

Candie Bracci said...

powerful that's the word!!!

Pisces Iscariot said...

Yodood: as I child of apartheid South Africa I am often troubled by the questions that arise regarding the inaction of the majority my generation.
“refraining participation in the crime” is only the passive aspect and a path ‘chosen’ by very many without actually speaking out. True, at one time, in our ugly colonial history, to speak out was to place oneself in danger, but for my generation (those who reached adulthood in the late 70’s/early 80’s as the system began to unravel), there was little danger from the authorities merely for talking out. The danger came primarily from those whites around us who were beginning to see that the change was coming and were afraid.
The ghosts in this house are not the multitude of enslaved, beaten, murdered, disenfranchised and dehumanised, but the guilt that sits at the heart of those of us who allowed (and to some extent still allow) it to continue, albeit in the guise of ‘the fear of black crime’ – a convenient substitute for the fear of black skin.
Rramone, Jams & Candie: powerful, but not evident to those who still carry the rotting seeds of ignorant hatred in their hearts.

Cinnamon said...

Pisces- the picture immediately reminded me of Toni Morrison's 'Beloved'- she paints a word picture of just such scars.

Credit to you for feeling that guilt on behalf of the rest of us who sit back and allow such things to happen. I am ashamed to read your shaming words and admit my political inactivity. I feel that at the age of 46 I am only just beginning to wake up, break out of the bubble of privilege I have been floating in. How can so much of the world's injustices have passed me by?

The tone of your poem is very bleak- without hope for change. And I agree that there is so much ignorance and hatred. Most white people are blissfully unaware of this, because they are usually not on the receiving end. The world has changed since Mandela was released- but there is so much more to be done. I have just come across Salam Pax, the Baghdad Blogger- have you heard of him? I will be posting a link in my next post.

keep writing...

Pisces Iscariot said...

Cinnamon: It's not always easy to address this issue from the outside - I believe that change happens one person at a time. Personally I find that racism is so deeply etched in the psyche that I had (an to some extent, still have) to question my reactions every time it raised its ugly head.
Thanks for visiting - I will check out Salam Pax

Cinnamon said...

Well said- change happens one person at a time. Then there is hope.

I would be interested to know what you think of Salam Pax, if you get there. I am engrossed with his old posts from 2002. Don't know where my head was in 2002! It was a year of difficult personal circumstances for me, so the rest of the world passed me by.

Pisces Iscariot said...

Iraq is a raw wound - the invasion marks the moment when millions of us realised that democracy is a joke to our politicians.