Power Issue Selected Poems

Three Poems to Make You Ponder

  • Graphic Caitlin Yardley

A myriad of words, a mountain of emotions. A bundle of poems that explore power, perceived through a political and a personal lens.

“AUTOMATE” (Elizabeth Pinault)
Je mastiquerai le temps perdu
Jusqu’à ce que mes dents s’effritent
Jusqu’à ce que ma mâchoire déboîte
Qu’elle craque et se disloque
Cédant sous la pression des secondes gaspillées

Je ravalerai les regrets
Ganglions vifs d’amertume
Ignorant la douleur
Je les laisserai brûler ma gorge
Dans les toilettes de l’échec
J’irai cracher du sang
Je polirai la commissure de mes lèvres
L’enduirai de peinture
Camouflant la souffrance résidente de mon système immunitaire

Les jours indolents me pèsent
Les secondes ternes m’engourdissent
La mort est un havre
Je le contemple de loin
Faisant bien attention de ne pas trébucher trop proche
Je ne frôle pas la ligne jaune
Ne frôle jamais les rails
Ne traverse jamais sans autorisation
J’obéis à la vie
Aux complaisances nécessaires
Je fais de mon mieux
Pour éviter le pire

Mais mes efforts essoufflés perdent leur sens
La fatalité me rattrape dans les pauses trop longues
Dans les silences trop forts
Pourtant mon pouls automate persiste
Son rythme ne veut plus rien dire
Sauf que mon corps a bien appris
Appris à persister
Sans revendications
Sans but

L’espoir n’est qu’un mirage
Sur sable souillé
On a détruit les oasis
Sûrement pour construire des condos
On est foutus
Mais le blanc siroté au onzième étage goûte la réussite
Vue panoramique sur la ville en flammes
Tu apprendras à cloître les rideaux
Et danser au gré des élans artificiels
De ton âme mécanique

“Vertus des vagues” (Carina Dumais)
My heart sank and my stomach churned
At the sight of waves crashing from down under,
A blood bank, for clear skies I yearned,
As the blistering winds made me shudder

They were cruel
The way they threatened me
A lackluster pool
Nature’s weaponry

Nearing the edge of a forbidding precipice
A sudden unfounded urge awakened;
To leap into its engulfing mouth, ludicrous
My will; utterly shaken

Along with a low growl
The rocks stood out
Fangs in a wolf’s salivating jowl
A perpetually starving snout

It snarled at me in thundering crashes
Almost begging through whispers
A whirlpool of shoreline lashes
Howling out in endless whimpers

And so I cried for the ocean
I cried for its depths that would never see the light of day
I cried for shipwrecks, the ones that never got away
I cried for streams, gleams, scour, frown, doubt
I cried for dreams’ screams that were drowned out.

“projecting” (Mila Gizli)
the skin on my hands is still raw
from the 2nd degree burn, given by those
last two matches that ignited a flame

though my brain wouldn’t listen, senses heightened
the warmth creeping up the nape of my neck

and just like every other time: a combustion
the world spins backwards on its axis
before the sun hits our part of town and
my palm puts out the fire

now I’m left with a permanent scar,
one for each might-have-been, God,
it still aches to the touch

I’m twenty-one now,
still made up of astral dust,
floating in the middle of space
like the rest of us

try to spot me with a telescope,
look hard enough and you might notice
a blinking, orange glow

like a star, I emit light in the darkness
an inevitable void that surrounds us
divided by gravity and air

I know it’s tempting
but don’t stare for too long—
cause the more that you stare,
the more damage is done
that I’ll leave on your feeble fingers and
you just might burn past 3rd degree

like the scorching sun

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