Tag Archives: India

A photograph that reminded me of a photograph

This is a first draft and I may have to delete this post should Mimo Khair think it does not do justice to her own photograph. Here is a LINK TO Mimo’s Photoblog.

A Photograph that Reminded Me of a Photograph
for Mimo Khair

A friend showed me her photograph of the children who took her
away from the entrance to the Valley of the Nobles, the ancient
tombs cut from stone. In place of silence and eternity, she surrendered
to the call of giggles and handmade dolls. Small, dusty hands
clasped hers. Off she was led to their houses amid a made up chant
of her name, as if a long lost playmate had returned home.

Yellows and reds and wide smiles in that photograph
echoed a desert trip in India with my family. We expected
camels and vast stretches of nothing but sky and sand.
Not the laughter of children in bright floral saris, their hysterical
screams that made our twins withdraw. We should have
stayed a while longer in that village until their voices
settled. Instead we kept to schedule, caught
the paid-for camel ride into the sunset.

Without permission I stole their laughter,
stored it in my cellphone camera. Those children
who only wanted to play with our children
before we disappeared from them forever.

-o-

 

 

A very good friend from an online poetry critique group suggested I try shorter lines with this. So here. Please tell me what you think.

-o-

A Photograph that Reminded Me of a Photograph
for Mimo Khair

A friend showed me her photograph
of the children who took her away
from the entrance to the Valley of the Nobles,
the ancient tombs cut from stone. In place of silence
and eternity, she surrendered to the call
of giggles and handmade dolls.

Small, dusty hands clasped hers. Off she was led
to their houses amid a made up chant
of her name, as if a long lost playmate
had returned home.

Yellows and reds and wide smiles
in that photograph echoed a desert trip in India
with my family. We expected camels
and vast stretches of nothing but sky and sand.

Not the laughter of children in bright floral saris,
their hysterical screams that made our twins
withdraw. We should have stayed a while longer
in that village until their voices settled.

Instead we kept to schedule, caught
the paid-for camel ride into the sunset.
Without permission I stole their laughter,
stored it in my cellphone camera.

Those children who only wanted
to play with our children
before we disappeared
from them forever.

-o-

 

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Monsters 2: Cluster Bombs

They come in a rain of flames and screams.
They seek the softness of flesh,
cracking points of bones.

But many of them unleash the horror
of their intent when all is quiet.

In silence they lurk
among the bushes. Still. Sinister.
Patient. Someone will walk
past them one day. Perhaps
someone who collects metal
scraps for a living.

Or maybe a child
will notice just one of them
with a bright yellow tail
playfully beckoning in the wind:

Take me. Take me.
Take me that I may be
One with your tender flesh.
Take me…

Sometimes there will not even be a scream.
-o-

Abdullah Yaqoob - DCA Archive

Abdullah Yaqoob - DCA Archive

What are cluster bombs?

More information

What Human Rights Watch says about cluster bombs

Who has them?