A Rapist in Your Way

Today’s piece pays homage– and it must– to the brave women of Chile and around the world who are standing up for their right to be free from sexual and gender-based violence. Currently, Mexico leads the world in murder of women and other forms of sexual violence. The United Nations, whose research wing may be…

Return to My Native Land (with apologies to Aime Cesaire)

I have been travelling and experiencing the world through the eyes of my childhood and the “now”. The city I return to is not the city of my childhood and teens, nor the city of my twenties and thirties, where the excitement of women’s liberation, the furious exchange of ideas, politics, and philosophies at the…

Chile: Forbidden to Forget…

I was first introduced to the world of Chileans in exile, in the late 1970s, as adults and children fleeing political repression, torture, kidnapping, political rape and murder, arrived in Canada. In fact, Chile had not been know for mass migration until the political banishment of left and progressive sectors under the Generals. Chile’s self-image, shaped…

A fall gallery

A series of drawings celebrating autumn in all her glory!

Pachacutec

This is a seven part poem I have been working on since my work, studies, and travels have taken me to South America and Cuba. I have long been fascinated and moved by the strength of peoples who manage to hold on to their cosmologies in the face of terrible odds such as kidnapping, enslavement,…

We Lived Happily during the War

One tries to hang on to hope, in spite of the onslaught. Poetry, art, music, dance, theatre, and even sometimes film, can offer us someting in that direction, give us a glimpse of that blue star. This year has been filled with changes in our political landscapes, fear and trauma among many who have been…

Journey

nothing but the need for friendship reduced, quest now stripped of myth how difficult not to remember the colour of eyes how we ran to and from such passions there was a time i thought i must not know you but outside the rain howled your name could not forget, would not, how could i?…

2 O’Clock

a yellow butterfly flew past brushing bougainvillias with dreams of rain now the grass is solemn does not dance a shadow grows longer upon the limewashed wall somwhere near by, children ae singing to capture even half this beauty in the palm of the heart from A New Remembrance, 1993, Copyright Kaushalya Bannerji

Indigenous Uprising on Columbus Day

I am a strong supporter of the movement throughout the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean to stop celebrating Columbus Day.  Critics of the pro-Colombus status quo signal to the cruelty and harshness of Spanish empire-building and by extension, European and British colonization efforts in the Americas. Genocide of indigenous persons,  the wholesale buying…

A Walk in the Park

We went to the park the other day. Storing up the sunshine of these beautiful days while we can, like squirrels with their nuts. The ups and downs of the meadows and trees, the glint of the sun on the tiny river and all around, little inhabitants of our world, scurrying to save stores for…

Denial is Not a Policy! Climate Strike 2019

Today I marched in the climate strike with millions of people around the world. I marched because I breathe, eat, need water, have increasing love and appreciation for the natural world, and hold the lives of the world’s citizens in the highest regard. I have been appalled and sickened by the astronomical levels of pollution…

Patiently Brown: Misadventures in the medical system # 1

I am always being told what to do. Like many people with poorly understood disabilities and conditions, I have heard every possible advice that people’s grandmothers,  parents, aunts, doctors, naturopaths, second cousins, and their neighbours might possibly have to offer.  Headache. Oh, just do this, and it will go away. My aunt/doctor/grandmother used to have…

Autumn

Today’s piece is sharing some poems which have been part of our English poetry canon for centuries and decades. Some I had to study in school, and thus happily rediscovered in adulthood. My mother suggested me a beautiful poem by John Keats, Ode to Autumn. I share it below. A beautiful cadence of the English…

Snowscape

SNOWSCAPE The landscape is still-born Birth  of winter brings blood to the snow someone is not walking but standing awkward space the corner of December Breaths are frozen leaving the pale orifices of mouths  as though they were not inanimate  Moving  away fleeing the refuge of bodies And someone wanting the comfort  of another thinks…

They Didn’t Know We Were Seeds

Ever since I saw the phrase, “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds”, I have been so moved.  I am a part of so many communities that have survived burial, in the manner of the phoenix.  We are resilient and resourceful like seeds that are nourished by hope instead of fear,…

The Harvest Moon

Last night, I glimpsed the harvest moon, red and full. This is the time of the year when the days grow shorter, the wheat and vegetables, apples, and stone fruit are harvested. Soon the nights of pumpkins and souls will be upon us. Autumn also brings the delight of jumping on crinkly fallen leaves, and…

Of Gods and Goddesses

For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about myth-making, religions, and various deities. I saw a Cannabis strain called Blue God. It made me think of Krishna, the Hindu blue god and flute player, and lover. Before the BJP’s Hindu nationalist agenda, this image of the blue god was one I always found to…

The Haiku Way

Is that your face I see? Or an old map of travels we took, each alone? Bussing the Sierra Madre, two travellers homeless, dreaming of return. River beside us sand beneath our flip-flopped feet men we did not know All haiku and artwork, Copyright Kaushalya Bannerji, 2019

Traveller’s Lament

I used to love the roads as well as blood loves vein fleeing from running to the geographies of other maps where my race charted like a cartographer’s fantasy finds itself obscured by the deviance of our desire in all my darkness i have never lost the way nor forgotten the words of this lamentation…

Signs of Disorder

the new season eats us with raw uncertainty even this weather has us guessing night’s frost a riddle chancing upon a newspaper a little bit of history intrigues between the fullstops lives collapse and transform nations turn upon themselves jobs are lost wars won and all our dreams made homeless everywhere there are signs of…

Blood in the Fire: A Cry from the Amazon

I’ve been aghast but not surprised to hear about the devastation of the Amazon due to uncontrolled fires set throughout mainly Brazilian territory. I don’t think fire will respect borders either. I’ve been remembering my own experience visiting the Amazon, a place that had always seemed magical and exotic due to the vast amount of…

Skintalker!

These haiku are inspired by music from the 1940s onward. I used to love listening to “latin jazz” and afro-cuban jazz. Years ago, when I had a radio spot, finding music to share was a delight, especially since it was long before the Internet! Chano Pozo revolutionized American jazz at a time when it was…

I like mine neat! More Haiku!

Rulers they want us to hate ourselves easy to dismember flesh bone memory Ether/real Chamber the internet is not yet full with dead minds the haul must be greater Politricks in the age of Electronic Voting Machines/DREs Press that button quick hackers must work wonders all hail the motherboard of lies Elites they have a…

Rainbow/Arco Iris

The colour Red is a bird with wings that shine. Yellow, turns into a sunflower. Grey, the colour of rainy afternoons when bodies love. Green, hope yet unreachable. Blue, the clear melody that cleanses everything in its wake. Pink, the tongue of a black cat. And Black, the open arms of night, although no-one, but…

Be Like Water

(Kaushalya Bannerji, 2019) flow, like water wave, like water cry, like water rage, like water rain, like water dry, like water still, like water one drop, like water becomes many.

Deportee

The day brings so much more news about ICE, the U.S.Border Patrol, family separation, the dependency of multi-billion dollar corporations on undocumented labour and racism. The buying of citizenship (U.S.A) and the ban on migrants who receive social assistance from becoming citizens (Germany). And in the midst of these conditions, people still love and live,…

Duende!

Duende is the word flamenco practitioners and enthusiasts use to name the unnameable— the gooseflesh or shiver that you get when you experience the outpouring of passion and soul that is flamenco…But the soul of flamenco is rooted in its nomadic beginnings in India and its route through West Asia to its hold on Southern…

Haiku

I love the centuries-old tradition of Japanese haiku. Its economical style and breadth of material — observations on the natural, philosophical, and social world are astonishingly profound, and often, wry. It’s refreshing to see the power of seventeen syllables in an age of verbosity with so little to say. While my introduction to haiku has…

Alfonsina y el Mar/Alfonsina and the Sea

I often find the combination of music and drawing irresistible. Sometimes, the visual expression has nothing to do with the music, and at other times, the song may inspire the images. My drawings are an illustrated backdrop to this powerful lament. I have been drawn to this song since I first heard it as a…

Say Their Names! From the Borders to the Camps!

Say their names. Those who are being detained and subject to inhumane policies of family separation, those who die in the arms of frightened parents who cannot protect them, those who are terrorized in prisons built for little children. Say their names… Do not let the amnesia of profit fill the ether.Yes, I have again…

Ouroboros

Ouroboros: The Snake Who Eats His Own Tail I’ve been thinking alot about the state of the earth lately. We are not living here, we are holding the planet hostage. And the ransom is too little, too late… In Greek mythology, Ouroboros symbolizes completion, wholeness, even the infinite. For me it has come to symbolize…

To See the Sea

This post is about a place where I have experienced great pleasure, great awe, and deep sadness — the ocean. I have been fortunate enought to play and swim in the waters of two great oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific. I have also learned to overcome my fear of the water, to see with…

The Weight of All Our Rage/Red Dress

I recall this poem I wrote during the Oka Crisis of 1990. Thirty-one years ago. Things have only gotten more dire. Oka Nada It was true what the foremothers told us. Words are unrepentant birds which fly off and leave us silent. (Once more we watch the silenced movie. Clear Quebec Sky, still summer days)….

World Refugee Day June 20

Refugee production continues to be caused by war, ethnic cleansing, class warfare, narco states, apartheid, climate change and collapsing economic conditions. In 2015, the world was horrified by the searing image of Aylan Kurdi (3 years old), drowned on a Mediterranean beach, but the commitment to stopping the creation of refugees has not been matched…

Linguistics II

(Kaushalya Bannerji, The Faces of 5 O’Clock, Sistervision Press, Toronto, 1996) a poem is a dream with many endings just like words are shapes that have no form but human

Ourselves or Nothing

ourselves or nothing seeking my eyes on your face i long for our complicity bankers with guns patrol the streets and our sister’s children go growing hunger  like a poisonous fungus. ourselves or nothing the woman we did not choose whose breasts sagged over her belly the colour of her skin, our skin the colour…

Song for a City

(The poet is you who reads) Song for a City/Fieldwork I walk Sun at my back. Sun in my face. The pavement licks my flip-flops. There are surreal and abstract buildings Where you can see dream and sky through the windows that do not exist. There are plants and flowers that salute the cocktail of…