Happy Pride Month! It’s been strange to be as fragmented as the LGBT community has been even before covid19. But lack of face to face contact has in particular been hard for LGBT people, especially young people who may be living with homo/transphobic or disapproving family members. So it’s a month to honour our many communities’ resilience, our survival in spite of centuries of exclusion, … Continue reading Intersecting Pride and Resistance
It’s been 6 weeks since I have been on the blog. I have been watching the state of the world with eyes that want to look away, but can’t. It seems we are on a collision course with hopelessness and destruction, vaccine or no vaccine. Human rights are being violated and lives taken with impunity, due to governmental inaction (India, Brazil, Peru) and governmental action … Continue reading Our Uncomfortable Dread: From George Floyd to Henry Dumas
I’ve been a bit slow on the translation front. I’ve been working on a selection of poems from Cuba’s Georgina Herrera. This writer really captivated my interest when I was studying in Cuba for my doctoral research. Her slim paperback volumes were on display at UNEAC in the Vedado and my favourite poetry bookstore in La Habana, Fayad Jamis, in old Havana. Here is a … Continue reading Poetry for the Peeps! Georgina Herrera
I’ve been away from the blog for nearly a month this time. I’ve been grappling with flares of chronic health issues and also been feeling somewhat disheartened by the announcement of a surge of covid-19 patients where I live, the increasing shuttering of small businesses, the business as usual approach of capitalist warlords, the rise of tent cities in the parks around me and an … Continue reading Poetry for the Peeps! Adam Zagajewski
I’ve not been able to watch the fall of the British Monarchy and the Republican Revolution as televised by Oprah. Just not happening! Every time I think of the British royal family, I am reminded of Sue Townsend’s classic, The Queen and I, a masterpiece of Republican humour. As you’ve guessed, I haven’t succumbed yet to the Crown! Instead, I returned to the influences of … Continue reading A Little Somethin’ for Megan Markle?
It is International Mother Tongue Day, today, the 21st of February. It’s an important day to celebrate because imperial monopolies of language (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French) have erased so many forms of communication and Indigenous and languages. Only this month, the Mexican government recognized 68 Indigenous languages as national languages alongside Spanish. This took over 500 years, to return official status to languages that existed … Continue reading Poetry in a Thousand Tongues! International Mother Language Day
This is a continuation of my previous blogs in which I present my translations of the AfroCuban poet Georgina Herrera. I find her an amazing poet whose economy of language and simple words belies the deep and complex essence of her feelings and poetry. She balances a righteous anger with a hope for wholeness, with regard to both self and community. Her early life was … Continue reading Poetry for the Peeps! Georgina Herrera, Cuba
This week, I’ve been trying to get through the winter blues and the covid blahs by reading some humour. Over a hundred years ago, journalist and humorist Don Marquis created some of funniest free verse around. Wikipedia tells us: Marquis’s best-known creation was Archy, a fictional cockroach (developed as a character during 1916) who had been a free-verse poet in a previous life, and who supposedly left poems on … Continue reading Of Feral Cats and Cockroaches!
The following three poems are by the contemporary Afro-Cuban poet and scriptwriter, Georgina Herrera, who has graciously given permission to share and translate her work . Author of numerous collections of poetry and radio and television scripts. I have done the English translations you see below. I’ve included a biography from Wikipedia, to give you some idea of the achievements of this great poet, who … Continue reading Poetry for the Peeps! AfroCuban Poetry in Translation
Today marks the shortest daylight in our hemisphere, and the arrival of winter’s official season. But as of tomorrow, the days will lengthen again imperceptibly, and for those of us who need the light, like morning glories or sunflowers, hope will gradually be born anew. Indigenous and pagan peoples celebrated and celebrate the energies and magic of this day when the darkness must be propitiated … Continue reading Solstice 2020
there have beenso many armiesso many hungersfood, land, water,the naming and naming of ourselves,chanting out in slogansthe red, brown, black of usthe “not-you” of us. there have beenso many citizensso many subjectskidnappings, rapesbuyings and sellings at auction blocks.since then ships and trains hurtling, planes gleamingso many travellerstrading home for outsidershiptrading belonging for hopethere have been so many. there have beenso many handssowing, tilling, building, diggingso … Continue reading Citizen Heart
Once again, I joined in https://ronovanwrites.com , Ronovanwrites’ Haiku challenge based on the two words, “grace” and “slip”. I enjoy the exercise for my rusty brain. And for me, so much more enjoyable than writing essays! The Haiku form has been around for centuries. It’s very sparseness makes it alluring. It’s like the very distilled form of story telling. 90 proof! Salud! Wind Speaks Winter … Continue reading The Wind Speaks Winter: Haiku
Autumn is a time when spiders look for warm places to spin their webs and lay their egg sacs. I’ve always been terrified of large and hairy spiders but outside among the plants they design the most beautiful webs which catch the dew or frost of colder times. While, I’m not a fan of spider infestations, one or two small ones don’t terrify me. In … Continue reading Poetry for the Peeps! Of Spiders and Refugees
I recently found a blog on haiku which also offers up writing challenges, by assigning words to construct a piece around. I hadn’t engaged in that sort of thing since high school. But I decided to try my hand at it. I learned that a) it’s harder than it seems and b) that it is fun to do once in a while. I hope you … Continue reading Life, View, Haiku
I seek answers in the sky.Astronomy. The stars hang like freshly washed clothes.Around me cities writhe. Pandemics and empty promiseswritten in neon. When will they preen again? Can you imagine our lives now?Astronomy. Replicating the starsMalcom lived by, Billie sang by. Harriet led by.Stars made of the dust of a thousand footsteps. Astronomy. Replicating the starsthat John Carlos held in his fist.That Sandinistas, or Zapatistas, … Continue reading The Great Unknowing