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The Forgotten

A poem

Photo by Kieron Mannix on Unsplash

A blazing fire in a warehouse
Bangladesh does not make the news

Military coup in Myanmar
fallen from our television

The proxy war in Yemen
not mentioned anymore

Syria is barely mentioned
or the explosion in Beirut

Saudi Arabia hosting sport
buying British soccer clubs

Human rights not upheld
a blind eye cast across

Bahrain using tear gas and
cleansing it’s population

Refugees are moved about
like pawns on a chess board

Britain sends Red Arrows
‘soft power’ is complicity

Published in The Power Of Poetry

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Guest blog by Jasmine Jin

LOCKDOWN-Straight from Shanghai

Shanghai is a city as busy as Tokyo and New York. And now. It is dead.

I won’t deny all the kindness this city has shown me, even in a time of crisis, but there is enough pain to make us citizens cry out.

Before I go any further, I’d like you to see two comparisons of Shanghai.

Shanghai, Before and After Lockdown

As for why I waited till now to shout in pain? Because I was disillusioned, like many Shanghai citizens, that this is merely a passing phase, and there was no cause for me to change the way I lived.

The initial 5 days became a week, a week became two.

When citizens first received the news of lockdown at 3.31, 8pm, and were ordered to return from shopping for groceries before midnight, they still had the romance to joke about feeling like Cinderella. Two weeks from that time, and all I see is one word, screaming out at me from everywhere.

“HELP!”

Life during the pandemic is like a pot of thick broth. It takes three swallows for every mouthful to go down. What’s worse is there never seems to be an end to the slimy goo. Spring is within a hand’s stretch, yet here I am living this steady and unchanging life

Everyday we count what’s left of the food, fight for supplies, get teary from the constant tragedies, and test for antigen. The bordem is a beast, clawing, biting, our kindness and patience gets more and more thin, undil we are only able to cover those dearest.

Hunger, Loss, Humanity, Death, Cruelty. Those words imply pain in themselves. They are threats I face daily. Let’s rewind the clock to April 1st, when everything started to get real.

Night of 4/1 at my living center. The tests lasted till after 11:00pm
4/4 Conditions in hospitals built to hold patients tested positive for Omicron. No oder, had to fight for food.
4/7 Corgi killed on the street because master was tested positive
All the apps shown on this page are used for buying food. Many citizens have alarms at 5am, 6am, 8am, 8:30am, 12pm, 6pm, etc. Out of a hundred items in the trolly, one is lucky to get a few.
Dogs have to do their business at home
4/13 Workers out of work, the noodles they’re eating their last food.
4/14 Pouring rain

This is just the quickest scan of Shanghai’s problems. In the upcoming days, I will recount and update events in Shanghai. Follow me to stay tuned.

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Sleep My Love

A poem

Photo by YUCAR FotoGrafik on Unsplash

Let me hold you as you weep,
child
, you are too small to feel pain,

Sleep, my love, my arms hold you
now can comfort you, so sleep

In years to come, I can’t protect you
let me take you in my arms, sleep my love

Grazed knees, broken toys, I’ll hold you
I mend, I kiss the wound
, sleep my love

The sound I make soothes you to peace
in time to come, 
I won’t be able to fix it all

Sleep, my love, while you can, in my arms
my heart walks around me inside you

So sleep now, my love, sleep, my love

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The Thing About Dutch Stairs

It is a thing indeed

Photo by Julia Solonina on Unsplash

The Netherlands, or Holland, is a small country. You can see in the photo above how closely packed the buildings are.

I’ve been there a few times. I once went by ferry and train. On the North Sea, I feared my seasickness might cause me to die. Then I feared it would not.

On each occasion I was there, I encountered their stairs. So did Michelle.

However, Michelle did not describe the Dutch stairs. I will.

First, you come to them and think What on earth…? Then you start to climb them. Therein is the thing.

The tread of Dutch stairs is about four inches deep and you rise about eight inches. A woman in heels is done for.

These stairs appear in homes, museums, cafes, the whole outfit. If you have consumed alcohol, please stay on the ground floor.

The Ann Frank museum has such stairs and to see the hiding place is very treacherous with so many people with many cultures doing whatever they think right. It is best to wait until stairs are empty before ascending.

My former fiance’s home was no exception. I stopped spending time with his sister in her attic room.

Maybe things have changed a bit. I’ve not been in a while. But the Ann Frank House is preserved.

Dutch stairs are a thing. So is the art. As are the canals. You can also purchase cannabis. I eat some now and then. It helps with my pain.

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Tapping Feet

A poem

Photo by Leon Liu on Unsplash

Skilled and taught and talented
Her feet in in one motion can produce
Several taps, and her feet flash
With great speed

Lithe and slender but every muscle toned
She remembers dances by heart
And the smile on her face is of sheer delight
As she performs to a mesmerized crowd

As one do the feet of the dance troupe tap
One sound made in the tap soled shoes
Their arms softly move up and down, side to side
There’s no better dancers in town

Published in The Power of Poetry

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Drowned

A poem

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

At one in the morning, thereabouts,
you fell overboard and started to fight
Fight for your life, drowning

Your friend, did he push you in jest?
Relaxed by booze, you slid under
never to breathe again, your friend

Will live with that all his life, regret,
ten days before your remains were found
your mother, how will she ever stand again?

Published in The Lark