June 30, 2013

As Ebony Strong

Morning falls upon the land,
    the smell of flowers on her hand
And carries on her hip a casket,
    a small and handled woven basket

So the road sweeps her along,
    forward into roller song
A city built with sun's cruel streak,
    determined mind, refined physique

Not once betraying hunger's pang,
    collectively her songs she sang
A gatherer of life's full blessing,
    challenged with such things distressing

Chanting by a pebble-dash grave,
    the babies' life refused to save
Married when she was just ten,
    became a widower's wife again

And with a symbol on her breast,
    her soul was now his to ingest
A girl who smiled with cemetery eyes,
    slavery  - but in disguise

A storm could never hold her back,
     remove this innate need to hack
Curling clouds with fearsome colour,
    managed not to scare this mother

Not once a cough of discontent,
    no leading sadness to ferment
She couldn't think, nor understood,
     why hunger can't persuade the good

Morning falls upon the land,
    the smell of fresh hay on her hand
Lays a dried flower on the mound,
    and thanks God for her stamping ground



richard said...

very nice, Helena.

Little Nell said...

Smiling with cemetery eyes-that's a phrase that will stay with me for a while, Strange how several of us seemed to have picked up on the coming storm too. Nicely done.

Berowne said...

Ingenious and sharp; well done.

Lyn said...

"A gatherer of life's full blessing"..Beautiful courage...one could strive for this!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This was a beautiful beautiful read...almost surrreal.

izzy said...

Love cemetery eyes-
so true, I enjoyed reading this

Helen said...

You have a lovely way of telling stories with poetry.

Jon said...

This is a wonderful poem - I love it!
I'm also intrigued by the dramatic illustration (is it a painting?)

Helena said...

Thank you everyone!

Jon I'm pretty sure the image is a photograph by Musin Yohan. Our delightful Magpie Tales picture provider (Tess) chooses our Sunday prompts. It's fun, you should give it a try!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...


Kutamun said...

Coming from a fantastically deep place this one Lena , flowed through me like a river, thanks

himani rawat nayal said...

That is quite a story you have woven in this poem...sad and intense.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

"A girl who smiled with cemetery eyes,
slavery - but in disguise"

So much said here. A story well told.
Anna :o]

Tess Kincaid said...

Loved this lyrical ballad...

Sue said...

Poignant...and it resonates with a book I just finished reading which made it hit me all the more strongly.


Aaron Grey said...

love it. Insurance blog