Hour four

grandmother weaves a story
around her mother’s birth

ten score years ago
a little house
a darkened room
airless
mud walls absorb
and reflect
the screams
of a terrified young girl
beads of sweat soaking
the bedding leaving
dark patches
and finally the dai ma
arrives with her years
of experience
confident hands
coax the mother-to-be
to breathe and push
and push and breathe
and the slimy mother
of my grandmother
is born without
a whimper in her
Dai ma whispers
in an ancient tongue
ancient words of life
and holding the mother
of my grandmother
upside down
gives a gentle pat
on her back
and whispers there too
then she readies
the mother
to nurse the baby
once more she whispers
to the silent mother
of my grandmother
while the young mother
watches uncomprehending
one more back rub
a blowing into the mouth
and the mother
of my grandmother
gasps, then mewls
dawn breaks
the silence of the room

Hour three

the bees swarm
around their hive
the scouts have located
a new home

they pause midair
for directions
drawing on the scent
of scout pheromones

the bees guide
their old queen
to the new place
keeping her cool and safe

surrounded by her loyal
bees the queen enters
her new quarters
and rests

the busy bees
busier than ever
get to work
making a new honeyhome

Hour Two

i tug at mama’s sleeve
she’s stopped walking
and is staring
at the hotel entrance
i feel her body go stiff
there’s a couple
framed in the doorway
of the hotel
doing a couple thing
and mama can’t stop
looking
mama, what’s wrong
she doesn’t seem to hear
as the couple come apart
her eyes two pinpoints
deeply focused

and the man
suddenly tumbles
down the steps
she drags herself closer

i follow unwilling
it’s papa, i whisper
on seeing his face
But she clucks,
and pulls me away
walking briskly
i want to ask
if there is some mistake

but she’s smiling
humming
i follow
disturbed
confused
she’s still smiling
when we get home

Hour one

a slight wiggle

a semi stretch

my body tenses

then releases

wet water world

slime slimy me

skin slippery

downy

 

curl up into a ball

breathe in fluid

in in

no taste yet

another wiggle

move that knee

grab the toe

the big toe

 

suck on it

ah, this is life

swimming

stretching

sinking

Hello and Welcome from Goa, India

Last year, I got to know about this challenge just two days earlier and I jumped in, not knowing whether I would swim or flounder. I did stay afloat with admirable support from the community of marathoners and some comfort foods. It’s one day in the year when I let go. Cheering all the participants as you warm up.

say cheese

poets have been mysteriously silent
on the subject of cheese
a great man once wrote
hence my attempt to set
things right
for cabbages and kings
have been mentioned
in the same poetic line
why not cheese and the president
surely one eats the other
and which one that is
we can be quite certain of

matters of state
cannot be decided
on empty stomachs
and MacCheese was a favorite
with one president, it’s said

but an internet search
reveals far better types of cheese
brie, camembert, gruyere
i learnt of them in my French
lesson many years ago
and there’s goat cheese, i’ve heard
someone (famous) swear by it
and blue cheese
though it did not look
blue to me

if you asked me
(and in a way you have)
i’d say cottage cheese
is by far the best
and sweetest kind
so when you shop next
in the cheese aisle
do remember to pick
cottage cheese
aka paneer
and do a light
marinade and grill
nothing better
for worse, there’s always MacCheese

when it rains

the rain comes down in bunches and bursts

the trees are silent witnesses

the pond beyond receives it

gratefully and then swells

in fullness and pride

peacocks arrive

strut their wares

silence

now

 

metanoia momma

she speaks to me

simple words

nothing earth-shattering

and a fog of anger

detaches from my mind

releases its clutches

through no effort

of mine

Woman Poet

Hi! I am Ermelinda (shortened to Linda) from India. This is going to be my first poetry marathon and I am excited to be here. In April, I successfully participated in the Poem-a-Day Challenge. I also worked on a separate thread for NaNoWriMo writing  poems on alphabetical prompts. I hope to be able to have 24 new poems at the end of the Marathon.

Several of my poems saw online publication over the past year and a few were published in anthologies, the most recent being The Kali Project /Indian Women’s Voices.

I have self-published two books of Christian women-centric poetry. My Amazon author page link is: https://www.amazon.com/author/ermelindamakkimane