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Reactions to “The beginning of my past…”






one who yawns

by Sherry Pasquarello

"I was born on the prairies
where the wind blew free

and there was nothing to break the light of the sun."

leader of a nation

"i was born where there were no enclosures."

enclosed at the end in
broken light and shackled winds
he escaped into the sky
into the light of the sun.

now it is rumored
the white man took even
the peace of the grave
his skull and bones

stolen like the land
kissed in secret by
thin lipped blue bloods

one who yawns
leader of a nation

yawns in their faces
and laughs.



by Waiata Dawn Davies

'enjoying the brimming cup of nature's beauty'
Here is a rare soul indeed
to whom everything is a source
of wonder, beauty and of knowledge
who refused to be driven unheeding
through the drafting yards
of popular education.

And I think about politicians
who want to eliminate poverty
who would take a soul like this
train it to work twenty hours a day
in some windowless call centre,
twist it into obedience, while they
bulldoze paddy fields to make
superhighways and
they would call it progress.


Unsuitable reading

By Stuart Nunn

"green fences guarding the path"

Sky-rich, he sandals out into the lane,
dogged by Gypsy, puzzling his bare calves.
Cow-parsley spears the hedges through skeins
of stitchwort, gates grin to themselves
by fields, wind-cropped, blank-herded.
Wary, he walks through the day unguarded.

Tales of the Empire send him out.
Warriors of all colours stalk him;
boys of the motherland whose dreams in clouds
are all of glory, foreign fields, mock him.
Threatening comic-books crowd in behind him,
blocking return. Forward! Forward blindly.

Africa thunders down on him, shields drumming;
red uniforms hammer after him, seeking blood
at Holset Cross, the personal  Rorke's Drift that's coming.
His only courage is not to look round
into the storm of otherness he knows is there.
Ahead is where he'll have to stop, where

the world ends, cornered by regiments
of darkness, streaming through the military skies.
Clutched lead controls his chest's tormenting.
Stop. Cower. Hug the dog. See through tears the grass
bowing from hedge-tops.
She knows other stories,
tugs him back down the lane, heart-weary.


by James Bell

The archway to the temple of knowledge
is strewn with byways he is tempted to enter
he draws his eyes towards the archway
each day for it is large and seen always
from the same distance - a distance
that is as physical as it is metaphor
for his own seeking after the perfect word
the perfect poem that is just beyond
where the archway stands - still and unmoving
it draws his eyes as a worthy tempter
for this is where he has to be in time
that is physical and metaphorical - relative
to where he stands or sits and writes
on most days beside the river without a boat