Sullen rain simmers, pretends to slalom and surrenders,
recoils in the clouds of sodden discontent.
Arid thoughts smother the sapless stalks of life.
It is the month of August, the fat middle of
an unrelenting virus, spinning off the spores
of a shivering November,
it’s nowhere as dead as it is nowhere as living.
People mask fragile streaks of breath, leaden lungs
laced with streptococcus pneumoniae. Iced, strung.
Limbs calloused by blisters. Senses culled, stunned.
Streets barren like rooftops under a burning sun.
Breathless homes stuffed with straw, ready to
ignite. Quartered wings fulminate and fail to fly.
Aimless pages rasp in the gust, the discarded citizens
of a vanquished state, buzzards of a caged sky.
Such a cruel end, such a smothering death by lullaby;
Month of August, the sad middle of a brutal shanghai.
excellent, that brutal shanghai or rather bloody ccp.
It can be delivered in many shapes from both within and without.
Such powerfully expressed poetic anguish. Such sharp, spare, language. Good to see more of your well crafted work.
Times have taught us to use our stuff sparingly. Thank you for the compliment, Derrick.
Down here at the bottom of the world August is my favourite time. It is six am and outside my morning window the birds sing a welcome to this time of the year. I wish I could send the joyfulness of their joyfulness.
I close my eyes and try to be there. My ears begin to hear the faint strains of a birdsong. I wish I knew what it means.
Your imagery is beautiful but I feel the heaviness of your words, the ennui and the breathless waiting. As though this poem is on the edge of something, ready to tip over into something else.
It’s amazing how deeply you have understood the state of my mind, wriggling to break free from the heaviness, poised to ‘tip over into something else.’ Thank you.
I have not been able to find the words for how these months feel. You speak for many of us.
Wishing you peace and health as we all ride this out together.
Words seem to have lost their voice, their redemptive force. It’s oddly reminiscent of Waiting for Godot’. Thank you for your kind words; take care.
Such a powerful poem that speaks directly to our times. It does feel as if we are stuck in the middle of something that is no where near over, and you poem captures our feelings perfectly!
I want to burn this load but I seem to have lost my voice. All that I could assemble was chopped twigs, dried up leaves. Thanks for calling it a poem.
Sometimes our voice isn’t want we had anticipated, but it can still impart a very strong message. And you managed that just fine. You’re a very good writer, even when you’re not satisfied with your own work, I think.
You have understood my discontent well. Thank you for those kind words.
The triumphant march of civilization laid low by a microscopic virus. Won’t know when it’s over till it’s over.
You have put in astutely. Many thanks for returning to this corner!
That was brutal!
Always a pleasure reading you, Mr. USP. 🙂
Thank you, Akshay. It’s a pleasure to see you here again.
No. Not April.
It is 2020 and so far August is the cruelest month.
Will it concede defeat to September?
Maybe only time will spill the bean.
Uma, it’s wonderful to have you writing again. Wonderful imagery and powerful words. What I sense as I read is anger, frustration, darkness … a coiled spring. August 2020 in India: a dark challenge. Take good care. May the light reach those dark corners very soon
The afflictions haunting me, and their manifestations, mentioned by you are all true. Thanks for the encouragement, Sandra.
Oh Uma, your poetic voice cries for your country once again. Meanwhile here in Ireland, thousands of people are marching in protest against wearing masks. Is it the middle, or the top? Or is it a rehearsal for the worse times to come?
Dystopian, and prophetic, stories of H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov and Margaret Atwood could be true after all, merely waiting to happen.
Oh I have been thinking about the same thing many times 😦