Toxic Petals

photo: @John Stadnicki

People travel towards the water.

Believers and non-believers, abandoned,

wet books with pages turning themselves,

in the hot breeze.

 

In times of peace, the bread chooses wisely.

It chooses us.

To hear the summer from miles away – a sudden blast.

 

Toxic petals float in the air and

drop vertical shades of colour

on busy roads, on silenced barracks.

 

We all are the collective eyewitness,

the sleep-deprived well;

knowing litter pickers, mending

the gaps in this violent history.

 

 

A poem for ‘Europa‘ by Andrew Heath https://www.amazon.co.uk/Europa-Andrew-Heath/dp/B01LYHL716 

For further information on Andrew Heath’s music, please click here: https://andrewheath.bandcamp.com/

A Kind of World

If we want the world to move forward,

we must hold hands. Documenting the pain and the joy,

on the same page,

with water, with fire, with ashes

not with ink.

 

Freedom means nothing when the healthy and the sick

eat at separate tables.

Even the trees sit together. They know that life is actually simple.

But once people renounced their entitlement,

it will take more than a revolution

to reclaim such a right.

 

For too long we took the wrong turn.

 

What kind of world is this if

the madman tells us that

we should be ashamed of ourselves?

 

Photo: @Joss Beeley

Expect nothing…

When you expect nothing, any piece of good news comes as a shock. I suppose the shock came today with the news that my poem ‘Winter Months in Chernobyl’ won the White Plum Press 122nd Poetry Competition, New York. Thank you Frank Watson and White Plum Press. There you go. This spring starts with a poem about winter.

 

Winter Months in Chernobyl

The fridge was a well-polished piece of furniture,
pristine-empty wall among other walls in the winter months.
Each morning, a soldier stopped by with a glass of milk –
the only white flag
to foretell a watery spring which never arrived.
In those days, we all slept in the mother’s womb,
taking turns to look after a small yellow bird,
as round as the sun.

One day, a guard with an empty face replaced the soldier.
The guard was quiet.
He liked to come by and sit with us,
inside the baking-hot void, and often,
he used a red pencil to mark my homework.
All my thoughts had unacceptable spelling errors.

Some time later, in April I think,
a blizzard took the guard away in an ambulance.
Food was on its way, and soap
and plastic dolls, clocks and iodine sweets.
A few of us grew feathers,
a few of us became photographs,
blindfolded legacy trapped in tulip bulbs.

Photograph: @John Stadnicki

Gallery

Antarctica

1

Day I


2

Day II


3

Day III


4

Day IV


5

Day V


6

Day VI


7

Day VII


Installation – visual poem: @Maria Stadnicka, ‘Antarctica’ MMXIV- paper, wood, ink, acrylics, pastels

Thought

Tomorrow will come with a sunny spell,

the rain will stop at the border so

we will begin the long-waited rebellion,

as they say,

at the right moment.

 

To satisfy our need for greatness,

we will politely ask the just questions and

sit on the pew

in return for the hand-written answer.

 

We will finally go home,

or so we believe,

to master the only remedy left for pain – patience.

street-cafe-2

Photograph: @John Stadnicki, ‘Street Cafe’

A Day at the Office

On Monday morning, I receive an updated version of

my handbook to freedom.

The spring is ready.

Without any fault, all of us hear the truth with a different voice,

as we continue the historic dispute over the body count.

 

The perfect war victims are lost

in the overwhelming testimony to the reality’s carnage.

Another century of fear unravels before Vivian Maier’s blunt apron,

like an atomic flower that grows overnight.

 

The collective memory has started rehearsals

for a prayer written on damaged bridges.

Those who have never been taught how to be free

escaped in the wild to make the world theirs.

foggy-railway-1

Photograph: @John Stadnicki, ‘Directions’, 2014

Economy

At first, they reduced the water supply.

The poisoned city wells dried up.

The sunlight burnt the crops.

At sunset everything crumbled into a black peace.

Then somehow we got used to an economy of words.

We collected our ideas and thoughts in one book

to spend the days memorising chapters,

wondering what it was like

for those trapped in the outer world.

At the end, not only did we gracefully kill each other

for the privilege of staying alive,

but we also gave thanks for having made it back in one piece.

img_1487

Photograph: @Maria Stadnicka, Journeys