Ayiti Cheri’m (My Dear Haiti)

 (A poem that I wrote following the 2010 Haiti Earthquake)

The Earth moved from beneath my feet on January 12, 2010.
No, my soles were nowhere near the tropical soil, but still…
From 5000 miles away, in Big Ben’s shadow, I was shaken

Her native language rolls awkwardly off my tongue,
heavily accented by its intimacy with American English and Western culture…
And her cultural norms are as foreignly familiar to me
As the “American ways” I was hatefully accused of by a mother
Who had little patience for my scholarly notions of feminism
Despite the fact that she embodied the vast majority of them.

My Motherland, as much responsible for my existence
As this star spangled bannered one, if not more
The only connection that I could make was stolen Skype chats with my mum
And the clatter of my pounds hitting the bucket of the local Red Cross volunteer
At the central London tube stations after making change to top up my oyster card

The donations were small and almost insignificant
But necessary for I was desperate for any connection
That would bring me closer to understanding my uselessness
When all I wanted to do was help

Instead I watched video after video,
News story after news story of people crying out to God
In that foreignly familiar language that I hesitantly speak…

And I could offer nothing but my spare change and non-specific prayers, hoping someone heard them and not me

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Glow

This is the last song that I wrote… it only took me five – six months…   So it took a while, haha… No big deal: it’s not like I was busy with med school or nothing like that.

Anyway, the premise of the song is about young love that goes wrong…  Think sophomore aged high school drop outs in backwoods, rural America:  they’re really just kids but given their circumstances, they’re forced to grow up before their time.

Anyway, long story short, every thing just kind of overwhelms them all at once and their love, though genuine, burns out before its time (I allude to some emotional neglect/abuse, a miscarriage, etc…).  They “barely got to glow when they were meant to shine”.

It’s a simple song.  And I enjoy singing it… If I ever get my YouTube channel going, I’ll record it and put the video up so you can hear it.  Hope ya’ll enjoy it as well.

“Glow”

Do you remember
That bitter, cold day in December?
A bottle of whiskey between us
To make up for the broken heater

You were heaven sent
To take my innocence
On those leather seats
Of your daddy’s jeep

And it was glorious
We were warriors
Fools in love
Young fools in love

But it’s not our fault
We just knew too much
So we had to move
Or the weight would crush us

What we wanted wasn’t good enough
So, it’s not our fault
We just knew too much

It’s hard to forget
The bloodied sheets,
The broken hearts,
The empty nest…

Your
Bitter words,
Your cold eyes
Your emptiness

So I retreat to the past
When the love we had
Didn’t hurt so bad

And we were so content
So yes I do repent
Whatever behavior
Made me fall from your favor

But it’s not our fault
We just felt too much
So we had to move
Or the guilt would crush us

What we wanted wasn’t good enough
So, it’s not our fault
We just felt too much

What did you expect?
They all predicted failure
And that’s what I get
For thinking you were my savior

But I have no regrets
I just wish we had more time
We barely got to glow
When we were meant to shine

Meant to shine

But it’s not our fault
It was just too much
So we had to fail
Or it all would crush us

What we wanted wasn’t good enough
So, it’s not our fault
It was just too much

I just wish we had more time
We barely got to glow
When we were meant to shine

Meant to shine

Lucid Dream

I pretend not to notice, but I know more than I will ever let on

Some act differently when they think they can’t be seen
So I stand, mute and def and dumb as far as you know
As you put on a show for the blind, your words saying what you think I want to hear
But your actions belying it all
I know more than you realize,
The knowledge of this I fear will corrupt me with its power
I can destroy but I choose to uplift
I can deny, but I choose to gift you with my generosity
I’ve emptied myself into selflessness
Feigning ignorance
And I bite my tongue so you never know that it was for you
It was always for you
And just the same, I will never show you the damage  you’ve done
As far as you know, you’ve won
As I still stand lucidly dreaming
It all away

This can’t be real

Powerless

His lips tasted of a sweet mix of my shame and gin
That left a piney bitterness lingering in the back of the tongue
And our love making as awkward as our first few encounters

But with each desperate throw of passion, each coy tug of his hair
The tense hesitancy faded and through the funnel of fulfilling
Such a base and carnal desire, I could catch glimpses of his soul

But every showing was brief
The short windows of opportunity failed my aim
I meant to take his heart, but missed
“You are not privy to this, succubus!” he accused

It seems that I am powerless

Scuffed – 18 March 2011

bootsYou’re like scuffs on my new leather boots
The introduction of imperfection only serves to give them character
Sets them apart
For no other boot is similarly scuffed
It makes me unique
And no other person is similarly fucked up
So flawed and hardheaded
And long suffering of my insufferability
So the combination of you and I
In all its crash and burning glory
Is unacceptably beautiful

Lorsqu’on Vient de Loin – December 18, 2009

With her broken French and an open heart
And her hesitant voice
The words that escaped in a past life, an ocean away
Fall, so elegantly
Welling, swelling from a hidden place
Too covered in scars for most to see

And she stands still
Poised on the edge of raw hope
Expectations high, knees weak
And waits with bated breath
Almost forgetting to breathe

Taking a moment, she gets stubborn
Forgets the fear long enough to just…
Jump…
Eyes closed to take that leap of faith

A Little Rusty with Speaking

(I wrote this five years ago, almost to the day… But the sentiment is fitting for the here and now…)

Of late, the right words escape me
I can never get my what I need to off my chest
When I speak, the words are empty
So the weight remains, sitting upon my shoulders

I can’t spill my heart to a stranger
But nobody I know is listening hard enough
For who can ever warn of the danger of standing upon a cliff
Without seeing the other side?

I ache in all the same old places
Nursing old hurts I thought I was old enough to bury
But it’s scary how some things never leave you…
Even scarier how some dreams fail to bloom… they don’t tell you that a dream deferred ends with a bit of you fading away..

So it’s true, I am not what I appear to be… at least to myself… too scared to know what others behold

Why should I be so sure of the lines that define my box
When the only thing that separates a person of faith and an apostate is interpretation…?

Like Diamant bleu vintage 1907

Aged and preserved
Like a fine wine: Classy, refined, expensive, and
Tuned only to the taste of connoisseurs

Too cultured for most
Who thus settle for the house brand
Or the cheapest bottle, passed around casually amongst
friends until it passes by his plate

Content enough that it’s not vinegar, it settles comfortably
in his mouth and he cares not for how it complements his meal or palette,
for it often does not
But the alcohol makes him complacent, as it often does,
And deadens the senses enough that he does not care…

So like that fine wine, many pass by, some of whom may glance and wonder,
b
ut rarely have the sophistication and courage to touch
or funds to purchase

So it continues to age, continues to grow finer
Until the day that one collector recognizes the rarity of the brand
The excellence of such a find and stops at nothing to make it his own…

Though not all priceless diamonds are mined and likewise, it may be lost in an unturned corner of winery, a long forgotten gem by all but the one that fermented and stilled the bottle with pride so long ago

But it is and always will a rarity and a treasure