Tuesday, 04 October 2022

F Fic, Non-fic

Marianne Lyon - Poetry

Tin Cup


            Begin to notice

a braid of women

like a to-do list

trudging to village water spigot

yellow plastic containers

balance on turbaned heads

I follow them into their deep story

            Begin to observe

hollow stares like burnt-out fires

eyes meet not others crumpled faces

glares cling to far horizon

            Begin to consider

what is crowded out of them

Is every-day pilgrimage

to promised-land’s rusted pipe

all their thoughts can hold?

            Begin to swallow

my pompous acumens

accusing their poverty

philosophizing that suffering

is one valid means

that can put us in touch

Who am I to judge?

            Begin to hear

what they do not say

when breeze carries her soft humming

to baby hung on back and

ahead avid kid bounces smile-face

unbridled spoon rattles tin-cup-drum

            Begin to understand

tap-a-tap-tap, tap-a-tap-tapping

doesn’t add despair to her ledger

before, dog-tired shuffling

now her stride sighs, matches cup’s

syncopated language

that metallic music

could be courageous salve

for her bleeding wounds.

But, who am I to judge?


Dirt artery snakes ragged through village

mud shacks teeter from nudging hot

outside they perch on wash basins

splattered plastic chairs

window sills


Passing jeep snatches their glare

hollow stares follow makeshift scooters,

humped children carry water

looks radiate equal measure of

horror and hungry sorrow.


My brain starts to scatter, jump fences

hopeless faces dissolve like soap left in bath

portraits appear, each crazy frame glitters

snatches of transformation


He droops with sadness

like coming back from burying the dead.

Limps to village Acacia tree, plucks a leaf

clutches chest like a fire flames inside


Another speaks silence big and fat

tears a leaf from low branch, greedily another.

She staggers in familiar dance of despair

then suddenly legs lift into wild jig


More gather like knots around Acacia

winged arms lift sacred leaves

begin to sway polished and elastic

begin to unravel lives of want

begin to undam a wealth of joy

Marianne has been a music teacher for 43 years. After teaching in Hong Kong, she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews including Ravens Perch, TWJM Magazine, Earth Daughters and Indiana Voice Journal. She was nominated for the Pushcart prize in 2017. She is a member of the California Writers Club and an Adjunct Professor at Touro University in California.

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