Where is Zambia?

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Christmas is looming around the next corner;
cards and parcels sent and received.

At the post office (I wipe off my shoes)
I send off a present to friends in the heat –

they’re home in Zambia, all to the South.
The girl at the counter inspects the address.

She keys in with verve, then halts in her moves:
“Zambia, where is it?”; she’s muddled in guess.

“African South”, I tell her surprised
(Generation smartphone, no one @ home?)

“South Africa, oh!” she exclaims in relief.
I frown and correct her, slightly impatient:

“Southern”, I stress and cannot believe.
She appears to be trapped, asked a trick question.

I feel her brain ticking, about to implode.
I give her the look (howcanyounotknow?).

Her fingers are frozen, stand-by in mode.
I wait for a minute or two or another.

Then, all of a sudden it strikes my awareness:
She won’t find “Zambia” in this one computer

In the language of Goethe, it spells with an ‘S’.
“Try then with ‘S’”(Generation X advices today).

She types again – her face now lights up.
My parcel is stamped and sent on its way.

I love my muslimsisterbrothers

© A. Tallil

mural © A. Tallil

I do not care what is your creed
I do not care what you believe
I’ve always thought that we can be
respect in spite of disagree

I love my muslimsisterbrothers
I loverespectdefend them & others
I can no longer be obliged
to be deceived and ill-advised

I know we’ve made mistakes so many
I know that hate’s a gut response
I’ve always thought that we can find
a way in spite of history’s twined

I know it may have been naïve
I know that no one really listens
I’ve always thought that we can fight
off hate in spite of breach of right

I love my muslimsisterbrothers
I loverespectdefend them & others
I can no longer be obliged
to be deceived and ill-advised

I see that no one asks those questions
I see that no one cares to look
I’ve always hoped that we can lay
our sword in spite of power’s play

I blame our leaders, bankers, bigots,
I blame the greedy, rich and full
I may be small to start a racket
but may in spite we all attack it?

I love my muslimsisterbrothers
I love my christiansisterbrothers
I love my hindusisterbrothers
I love my jewishsisterbrothers
I love my buddhistsisterbrothers
I love my atheistsisterbrothers

I loverespectdefend them & others

Redefining positions

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how could i not be myself?
how could i not listen to what earth was telling me?

nature pulled away and i disappeared in appearances
i lost my laugh between the third and fifth floor of success
age raced, stars kept falling;
their stories extinguished
never to
be retold.

can’t prevent nature from fading
can’t prevent the laugh from wasting
can’t prevent the stars from smothering
can’t prevent the earth from swallowing
those
stories.

it is just that…
luck is not to be found in people or prosperity
it is something to be saved little by little
in my attitude
towards
the world.

Redemption, if you will

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in the shade of splendid words
we hide our fears
& shed our guilt
defend a house of cards
we will

in the nook of sparkling phrase
we burn our lies
& blow our myth
obscure dishonest ways
we wish

in the hint of polished speech
we store our pain
& stash our doubt
prevent an open breach
we want

but in the eye of sparkling tinge
you find my hue
& touch my sooth
redeem eternal clinch
you shall

Libretto for My Beloved

IMG_1244Epilogue
Look me up when moonlight calls, roll me in your gentle dreams
soak me with your animus
and guide me through your reverie.

Take me on this twilight fancy, hold me in your lunar gaze
wrap me with your starlit laugh
and chase away those mares of night.

Prologue
The sun purloins nocturnal cloaks, strips us bare of cosmic bonds
tend me through the days of ire
and lead me back to evening’s tomb.

The Chorus of the Doomed

IMG_1888A girl who clutches her trembling legs
her frame for final salvation it begs
there is no protection to obtain
just crude abuse; an innocence to feign

A boy who clenches his bony fists
no flesh is remaining on his wrists
there is no morsel left to chew
just groaning void; an ache to subdue

(Chorus)
Who looks after those
who mankind simply throws
bogged down by their destiny
left to simmer in tyranny?

Tell me, all you society’s helper:
Will the rich, the monarch or the despot give shelter?

A woman who lies in wretched waste
with scars and marks her body is traced
there is no hope for her to spare
just raw ordeal; an oblivion to wear

A man who cries to no avail
is caged in ruthless poverty’s jail
there is no money here to squander
just vacant treasures; a survival to ponder

(Chorus)
Who looks after those
who mankind simply throws
bogged down by their destiny
left to simmer in tyranny?

Tell me, all you society’s helper:
Will the rich, the monarch or the despot give shelter?