Blogs by Bahais

A compilation


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Family Poems (14/16): Memas

Everybody Means Something

Memas

After recently posting Unfinished Business in response to Sue Vincent’s book addiction post, and finally managing to finish Reading in the Park after only five decades, it struck me that it might be useful to post the family related poems, not in chronological order of composition, which is how they have appeared so far, but in a sequence that better reflects their chronological sequence in autobiographical time. I started last Monday with the first one after Unfinished Business, as that was posted so recently. The rest are following at the rate of a poem a day.

Memas

In Panchgani
in the cold front room
of the small cottage
which she didn’t own
she lay still
under the white sheet
beneath the crimson and green
of the freshly cut
half-opened rose
with her headscarf tight
against the breeze
from the open window
still in the pale flowered brown dress
she always wore for travelling

there…

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That selfie you took

the Book of Pain

upOff to wherever for whatever, but before you go—
snap that photo in the here and now, then post
it up to the fast receding, the there and when,
that touch that was, hope fading into forgot…

There we’ll remain with our firm, sure smiles,
left for our heirs to puzzle over, caught by us
in their time as were we in ours at the undertaking:
whatever did we think we were looking forward to?

This is what ties us, each generation, one to the other,
no one else understanding the race, going/going/gone,
that determined moment we thought so real (foolish us)
sent on ahead just the same. Almost as if by accident.
What was it I thought I was saying?

up

My apologies for such a long hiatus, but I’ve been working on a project for my Masters degree.

I was struck recently by an article discussing how fast we are loosing the World War 2 vets. In the United States, 16 million men and women were in uniform for that conflict, but now less…

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Salt of the earth

the Book of Pain

Persians say that a salad is best made
with a miser to pour on vinegar,
a rich man to drizzle on oil
and a crazed man to heap on garlic.
What I got was a sweet man
who sprinkled everything he owned,
joyously, on everyone’s plate.

This story comes from a Bahá’í conference that took place in Bukavu, Rwanda, a town along the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or what was then called Zaire. The main conference meal consisted of salad greens, roast goat, beans and manioc, the local term for the cassava tuber from which tapioca is derived. (Most Westerners don’t like manioc, but I developed a bit of a taste for it. But I’ll eat anything, so this was not surprising to my family.)

He was an elderly gentleman who, with a radiant heart, shared with us what we worried was just about all he owned…

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The World is Singin’ its Blues

guitarboy2              Guitar Boy by June Perkins

The world is singin’ its blues
askin’ for a bit of time to heal
askin’ why it’s so hard to feel
that nothin’ we do is gonna make
peace be real

askin’ for a DJ who understands
the need for peace
who can give us some
musical release
to sing out tears
dress them in a parent’s tears.

The world is ringin’ out its questions
why, oh why’s a piece of land
or your religion
something to kill or die for
and why are people so quick
to tie their fate to
those noose of hate?

askin’ for a DJ who can change the down beat
into an upbeat
bring some kind of optimism into play
dress that sorrow
in a technicolour tomorrow.

The world is singin’ its blues
askin’ for a bit of time to heal
askin’ why it’s so hard to feel
that nothin’ we do is gonna make
peace be real

(c) June Perkins