It groans in the West-North corner of our apartment. I do not know why its wailing brings Wuthering Heights and the Irish banshees to my mind. Only this household is without a child. The lightning flashes as in some Hollywood horror episode. We wonder whether to stay or depart. We opt to spend another night in our not-very-spacious car. I …
Who said I cannot abort your wayward words
before they attain your vocal cords!
and who said I cannot abort the smile
with which you aspire to paint your mouth!
Who said I cannot de-fraud the air
that each belligerent lip exhales
and who said I cannot de-shroud the intent
of every evil you contend.
Who said I would not be able to contort
the beautiful mirage your verbs extoll
and who said I could not expose
the vermin that lurks within discourse.
Your answer is not required. – mh clay
My eyes mirror the cracks in buildings
and in hearts,
in the pupils of children
who now dread sleeping in their beds.
My pulse beats louder than the bowels of the earth
and fear wrenches my quietude
like the gale that preceded the earthquake.
The ground beneath my feet quails
like a giddy quicksand
for gravity has departed from this region
that is benighted with wars,
with seismic unrest.
Wake walkers, beware. – mh clay
I do not keep birds in cages. People resent my attitude as a type of sheer sentimentalism. They remind me that fauna were created for their service and entertainment. As for my vegetarianism, it is a blasphemy against the generosity of a god who sanctioned animal slaughtering. Sheep are kindred spirits, admit the animal-loving, but they were born to be …
It all started with an essay that one of his students wrote for a composition test. It bore no relevance to the topics proposed, so it naturally got a zero for being off-point, but it was easy to recognize who wrote that irrelevant piece because that test was preceded by a CD that introduced the topic to a very unsuspicious …
When Simon had lathered with lavender my branches
and smoothed entangled twigs with massages,
a pair of scissors advance to subdue
the wild overgrowth of my unruly wood.
With no rape-of-the-lock sort of attitude
only the weeds lose livelihood.
I shed no tears on beheaded boughs
nor sing a requiem for severed parts.
I observe his hands in masterful orchestration,
nor clutching the maestro’s brush,
his fingertips waltzing in full concentration,
caressingly reshaping the complying locks.
In the mirror we gaze
at my altered face,
the fringe that vies with Cleopatra’s.
With ‘Merci’ and a smile
he bows out of view,
with metamorphoses all day to ensue.
A trimmed tree, tickled. – mh clay
I paused to cast a subtle glance at my facade to check if something looked awry for the public eye. I quickly looked at my zip whose little ring sat snug beneath my belt, safeguarding the intimate part of my fabric. I searched for any prints that my doting dog might have left. The upper part of my cardigan was …
Frail is the nail
which can’t make me shriek,
the hail that pelts
my petals and speech,
the gale that rips
my roof and peace
for I shall know much better days.
Frail is the pen
whose ink has congealed,
the veil that shrouds
a veracious tale,
the spam that haunts
my fertile mail,
for bubbles will burst in the air.
Almost no trouble to burst a bubble. Frail, indeed! – mh clay
It all began a few days after the nuptial day. He repeatedly yawned every time she started a conversation. She never intimated her annoyance at that recurrent incident to him, but kept a vigil over his sleep hours and his mood swings. She changed her domestic schedule to enable him some extra sleep. She sorted out bills and repairs without …
“Jinny always dances in the hall on the ugly”. Virginia Woolf, The Waves
I abhor everything that Jinny stands for,
her casual sex and promiscuous lore,
but I must admit she animates the book
with her billowing frocks and opening doors
and from her I learnt despite my scorn
to dance on the ugly, and dance for long.
In curfew darkness, I scribbled odes
by the haggard light of a famished globe,
a candle’s orb.
The rattle that Wilfred Owen deplored
in an anthem meant to disparage wars
now live assaults my metaphors,
who, unscathed, tap-dance a rhythm of their own.
And deaths that queued before my abode,
that abducted whoever I adored,
bequeathed an inheritance of fortitude,
of resurrection from every plight and woe,
a new-born soul.
A perfect birth with every pirouette. (This is the title poem of Susie’s latest collection, To Dance on the Ugly. Available today on Amazon. Congratulations, Susie! Get yours here.) – mh clay