Skin

Are you comfortable in your skin? Are you comfortable in the skin your in?

Is there an option to change?  Texture? Thickness? Colour? Like that particular type of lizard that blends into its surroundings minimising its chances of discovery. Lenny, the lizard spends his time in the sun, silently soaking up its rays. He tip toes lightly from a dark rock, its hot you know! He moves quickly with a speedy agility, reminding me of his fragility. Admire his ability to climb walls and hang upside down on the ceiling, I think of the lightness of his skin and then, the regular shedding of scaly skin; and then of steroid skin cream soaking in, then a few days later flaky scaly skin.

The angry heat rash I got every summer as a child, I often wished I could swap skin then.

This is my response to Blogging Univeristy, Writing 201, poetry Day 3: Skin, Prose, Internal rhyme challenge

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Writing 201 Poetry day 2: Gift, Acrostic, Simile

Reading between the lines
Energy flow fluctuates false steps remembered.
Could it be?
In another life, reaction would be muted.
Empty promises concealed in soft pastel wrapping
Volatile outbursts precede the flow of pastel wrapped boxes, heart shaped cards.
Enabling control
Deflating the bubble of joy that had begun on first view.

With a move to warmer climes
I invite more light in, the darkness slips away willingly;
Taking with it the bad memories and any trace of controlling forces.
Heart free finally.

Love yourself! more shout the books I read, I’ve been on that same page for months now.
Oh, your words arrive just in time like a cool wind when the heat reaches its peak.
Venice in the spring time!
Eyes refocus, energy returns, heart moves on to another

Writing 101 Day 16: Search your Stats for a post idea

The sea eats the land at home” by Kofi Awoonor, a look at my stats reveals that this poem is a very popular post. From the information on searches I can see that the title of the poem is a common search term, I first noticed this earlier in the year.

The following is a list of thoughts and ideas that come to mind when rereading the poem.

Strong images of a coastal town in Ghana devastated by flooding.

In general the sea is a friendly neighbour washing in and out, keeping to the natural boundaries of dry land and sea, a change in season always brings the risk of a stronger current, a sea with more energy, higher waves, more volume.

I think of what is missing, a flood defence, physical and structural.

I am reminded of a school trip to the Thames barrier.

I first came across the this poem in the Penguin book of Modern African Poetry published in 1963.

In the UK currently there is the Floodline, each local authority has a flood map, areas are assigned with risk levels from floods.

I type “flooding in Ghana” into the Google search engine and find out – Flooding is still is a major problem in Ghana, the most recent floods occurred in June 2015.

Another search reveals the poet who unfortunately is no longer with us was killed during the 2013 Westgate Shopping Mall attack in Nairobi. He was in Kenya to perform at the Storymoja festival.

What comes to mind when you read this poem?

The Pigeon -Hole, a poem by Mabel Segun

How I wish I could pigeon-hole myself

and neatly fix a label on!

But self-knowledge comes too late

And by the time I’ve known myself

I am no longer what I was.

 

I knew a woman once

who had a delinquent child.

She never had a moment’s peace of mind

waiting in constant fear,

listening for the dreaded knock

and the cold tones of policeman:

“Madam, you’re wanted at the station”

I don’t know if the knock ever came

but she feared on right till

we moved away from the street.

She used to say

“It’s the uncertainty that worries me –

if only I knew for certain…”

 

If I only knew for certain

What my delinquent self would do…

But I never know until the deed is done

And I live on fearing,

wondering which part of me will be supreme –

the old and tested one, the present

or the future unknown.

Sometimes all three have equal power

and then

how I long for a pigeon-hole.

 

I recently came across this poem when reading the book “Daughters of Africa: An international anthology of words and writings by women of African descent from the ancient Egyptian to the present”, Edited by Margaret Busby.  The first two lines really caught my attention and I carried on reading.

My first thought after reading the poem a couple of times  was who is Mabel Segun?  I was not familiar with the name. Thanks to the internet 🙂  I was able to quickly find out more….

Mabel Dorothy Segun is a versatile woman whose outstanding achievements in the fields of literature, broadcasting and sports have earned her Nigeria’s national honours which she was awarded in December 2004. In October 2007, she was proclaimed joint winner of Nigeria’s most prestigious prize for Literature – the LNG Nigeria Prize for Literature which was awarded for her children’s book,Readers’ Theatre: Twelve Plays for Young People. In 2009, her long literary and academic career was rewarded when she received the Nigerian National Order of Merit for academic excellence in the humanities.

For me this poem was a really interesting discovery both in content and finding out about the writer.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance – Standing stones, Orkney

Endurance

A stone has been carved out of the earth and now stands before us.
Lasting the distance.
Standing firm.
Reaching the end point, here
despite setbacks.

Standing stones inspire wonder,
I wonder why?
But the stone is silent
or is it?

A permanent reminder of what has gone before
but the records have been lost.
A neolithic art installation ?
Enduring much much longer
than the artist could have imagined…

Lasting the distance,
standing firm.
Reaching the end point, here
despite setbacks.
A stone has been carved out of the earth and now stands before us.

I took part in the Daily post weekly photo challenge, check out other entries here.

Check out my previous post on Orkney.

The sea eats the land at home by Kofi Awoonor

At home the sea is in the town,
Running in and out of the cooking places,
Collecting the firewood from the hearths
And sending it back at night;
The sea eats the land at home.

It came one day at the dead of night,
Destroying the cement walls,
And carried away the fowls,
The cooking-pots and the ladles,
The sea eats the land at home;

It is a sad thing to hear the wails,
And the mourning shouts of the women,
Calling on all the gods they worship,
To protect them from the angry sea.

Aku stood outside where her cooking-pot stood,
With her two children shivering from the cold,
Her hands on her breasts,
Weeping mournfully.

Her ancestors have neglected her,
Her gods have deserted her,
It was a cold Sunday morning,
The storm was raging,
Goats and fowls were struggling in the water,
The angry water of the cruel sea;
The lap-lapping of the bark water at the shore,
And above the sobs and the deep and low moans,
Was the eternal hum of the living sea.

It has taken away their belongings
Adena has lost the trinkets which
Were her dowry and her joy,
In the sea that eats the land at home,
Eats the whole land at home.

by Kofi Awoonor.

I came across this poem in ” Modern Poetry from Africa” (1963), a book bought over 10 years ago in the secondhand book section of Waterstones, Gower Street near Euston Square in London,   an Aladdin’s cave of  secondhand books I would never usually set out to buy but somehow I always come  away with a few gems. Helping a friend with a video project recently I choose this poem to read I came across it again whilst researching  Ghanaian authors/poets for Ghanaian literature week a week initiated by the “Kinna Reads” blog.  Unfortunately Awnoor passed away in the September 2013 Kenya shopping mall bombings leaving behind a impressive body of work.